Dear people of God:
I have a beat-up red book published by the Presbyterian Church; it's called Book of Common Worship:
Daily Prayer. It's designed for individuals, families, and groups to use for prayer every day, and includes
a wide variety of options. It has prayers that people can say when they're sitting in the Sanctuary waiting for the service to start, and prayers to use at other times in our lives. It has litanies that groups can say together. It has seasonal prayers; by "seasonal" I mean, of course, Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost; not Baseball, Football, Basketball, Hockey and, especially, Soccer (the Beautiful Game).
And it has four services that can be used every day: Morning Prayer, Prayer at Mid-day, Evening Prayer, Prayer at the Close of Day. It also has a "Vigil" prayer service for Saturday evenings, and some other structured prayer times. It has the daily lectionary, with readings for every day of the year. Finally, it has all the psalms one needs for these, as well as lots of other great texts that are usually sung.
My copy is battered because I've been using it every morning and every bedtime for more years than I
can remember. I use the daily lectionary in the morning, reading the Old Testament and the Gospel for two years, then the Old Testament and the Epistle for the next two years. I say the whole service for
morning prayer, which feels stronger in a group but works nicely by myself as well. And before I go to
bed I say the service of prayer at close of day.
One thing I like about a structured prayer time is that I don't have to think about what to do or how to
do it; I just do it. Even when I used to lead a group in Morning Prayer every day, it didn't feel the way the Sunday service does: I didn't have to compose it or plan it, just lead it. So I felt more like a participant. Another thing I like is the realization that thousands or millions of other Christians are doing the same thing. So, even though I'm sitting in my rocking chair, facing a burning candle and an icon of Jesus
raising Lazarus from the dead, I'm not praying alone.
Much of my routine changes when I go on vacation. My meals are different, my activities are different,
my clothes are different. One thing doesn't change: my daily cycle of prayer.
What do you do to maintain spiritual discipline every day, especially when you travel? I'm interested
to hear about it.