[AREWP stands for “A Reckless Experiment With Prayer.” This is part of an ongoing series about bringing peace to my daily life. You can read the other posts on this subject here (scroll down).]
I’ve received quite a few questions about this experiment with prayer, so I thought I’d answer them all in one post in case anyone finds it helpful.
What prayer book are you using?
Christian Prayer, the one-volume Liturgy of the Hours, plus the St. Joseph Guide for Christian Prayer pamphlet that came with it. It’s a bit pricey as books go so I asked for it as a birthday present.
How did you decide on that book?
Because quite a few bloggers and Amazon reviewers recommended it highly.
Have you ever heard of the Magnificat?
Yes. I decided to use Christian Prayer because a) I heard that it’s more complete (not 100% sure that that’s correct though), and b) I decided to take a bet that I’ll keep up with it (if I do the prayers for more than a year it’s cheaper to just get the book rather than a Magnificat subscription). But I have seen the Magnificat and it looks great, and I would recommend it.
Do you read the prayers out loud?
Yes. I read that you are supposed to either read them aloud or at least move your lips, so I do.
What do the kids do while you pray?
I pray in the living room with the kids, so the baby bounces on my lap while the toddlers play. I’ve been reserving some special toys that only come out during prayer time, so that usually keeps them amused. At first they seemed to think of prayer time as “limits testing time, ” but they’re starting to fall into the habit of amusing themselves while I pray, and since late last week (when I did the trial run) they’re more used to the routine. When they’re old enough I plan to include them (which will be great, since the Liturgy of the Hours is ideally done with others).
How can you possibly focus?
Between sleep deprivation and general chaos, it’s not always possible for me to deeply concentrate on the prayers (though sometimes it is). I do read all them aloud, which helps, and focus to the best of my ability. Per rule #4, I just try my best and accept that it won’t be perfect.
How long do the prayers take?
Each one takes about 12 minutes, except the Office of Readings, which takes about 15 minutes (my book has abbreviated readings).
How did you learn about the Liturgy of the Hours?
I read a ton of stuff about it, but two resources to highlight are: Getting Started with the Liturgy of the Hours by RNW, and the Discovering Prayer PDF at the Rosary Shop (the PDF is very long, but you’ll find that you only need to focus on a few key sections when you’re getting started).
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