A couple of weeks ago I presented the Lenten Challenge to pray 20 minutes a day, worship once a week, and find six opportunities each month to serve. If you do not have a regular prayer practice, the idea of praying for 20 minutes a day can seem unachievable, so I want to share some ideas and resources.
At our Annual Celebration of Ministries on Sunday I gave each of the outgoing vestry members a little book called Hour by Hour. This is a Daily Office book that gives Morning Prayer, Noonday Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Compline for each day of the week. The prayers vary a little each day, with different prayers and different readings. This book is an excellent resource for the Lenten Challenge. If you were to do Morning prayer and Compline each day, with a few minutes of quiet prayer, you would easily meet the goal of 20 minutes a day. Whatever time of day works best for you, there is a prayer provided.
Another book that I have used for the past several years is called Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals by Shane Claiborne. This wonderful book provides a different Morning Prayer for each day of the year, Evening Prayer for each day of the week, and a beautiful Noonday Prayer. The App, available for iPhone and Android, is cheaper than the book and offers most of the same content, though I enjoy the feel of the actual book.
You can always use the Book of Common Prayer, with the either the Daily Devotions for Families beginning on page 137 or the Daily Office, beginning on page 75, though I find the BCP a little harder to use with all the choices it provides.
Many people enjoy the Forward Day by Day devotional. You can pick up a copy of this in the Parish Hall on the table under the bulletin boards. This provides a short scripture reading and brief meditation for each day, along with suggested Bible passages for further reading.
There are also numerous online sources for the Daily Office. These have the advantage that someone else has done all the work to look up the readings and link to them, or include them for you.
Accept the challenge
You can do it! Go to the PrayWorshipServe.org web site and press the button titled “Accept the Challenge.” You will be invited to give your email address and name. Then, each day during Lent you will receive an encouraging email supporting you in keeping the Lenten Challenge. Please be sure to let me know you are taking the challenge so that we can support each other.
Yours in Christ,