Day 1 – Strength Training

I am excited to introduce you to a part of Church history that I have found to be a very helpful part of my devotional life, the Daily Office. The Daily Office is a way of praying that has been around for a long time. From the time of the early church fathers and the desert monks through today, people have been praying a type of the Daily Office for thousands of years. With liturgies for Morning Prayer, Noonday Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Compline, tied together by a liturgical calendar and established readings in the Psalms, Old Testament, and New Testament, the Daily Office helps us to live everyday as part of His incredible story. The word ‘office’ in the Daily Office is used in this context to mean ‘service’. Daily Office means the service of the day. In “Daily Strength Training” I have adapted a Morning, Noonday, and Evening Office, as well as Compline and The Litany from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer that incorporate all of the components of our spiritual disciplines(Daily Psalt Intake, Daily Sage Intake, Daily Bread Intake and Daily Cardio Training) and wraps them all together in a very nice package.

For me, the Daily Office is a way of praying that makes me feel connected to the historical church. The simplicity and repetition of the Daily Office provide a source of great comfort. It allows me to think about where I am each day in the salvation story. It gives me a sense of being a part of His incredible story, connected by a type of shared prayer throughout generations.

As you read through “Daily Strength Training” you will notice that there are directions included. These directions are known as rubrics.

A purple font in italics in the liturgy designates a rubric (a liturgical term for the instructions to lead a service). These instructions or rubrics are written to help lead a group setting of Morning or Evening Prayer. Many of them will not apply to you when you are going through the prayer time by yourself. For example, it is not necessary to stand and sit when you are praying by yourself.

A green font in the liturgy designates a reading that is to be said by all those gathered for the service. When you see something in green I suggest that you read it out loud.

A black font in the liturgy designates a reading that is to be said by the pastor or leader of the service. When you are using the Offices as a devotional tool, consider yourself the leader.

During the Offices you will be directed to all of the readings that we have been adding to our daily routine, now interspersed between prayers that our included from our rich heritage as a church.

The monks had developed the Daily Office over the years to include prayer times at dawn, before work, at 9:00 AM, 12:00 Noon, 3:00 PM, Sunset, before bed, and during the middle of the night. However, I am not a monk and so I do not pray all of these prayers every day. My regular routine is to pray the Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer every day. I also pray the Noonday Prayer and Compline as often as possible and use The Litany as a nice change of pace every now and again.

Another thing I like to think about is that no matter when I am going through my devotional times in the Daily Office, there are other people all over the world who are also praying some form of the daily office at the same time.

With that in mind, let’s start our Daily Strength Training with a look at Morning Prayer.

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