Phyllis Tickle's The Divine Hours plants the seeds of prayer language anytime, anywhere.
Posted in , Nov 4, 2014
I handed it to her with the words, “Thank you for your books. You have been more influential in my prayer life than anyone else, with the possible exception of the brothers at the Abbey of Gethsemani.” She answered, graciously, “I am in good company, then.”
It's true. The three volumes of Phyllis Tickle's The Divine Hours–Prayers for Springtime, Prayers for Summertime, and Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime–have guided my prayer life for years. Each book is a manual for fixed-hour prayer, which has been practiced by followers of Jesus for centuries.
The pattern and many of the prayers themselves are drawn from The Book of Common Prayer but presented in a more user-friendly format (and enlivened anew with material from a wide range of contemplative works, poems and hymns).
It provides daily Morning Prayers, Midday Prayers, Vespers and, in a separate section, Compline prayers to end the day.
I cannot more highly recommend a book nor a practice than the fixed-hour prayer The Divine Hours facilitates. Whether you use it four times a day or twice (my practice) or once, it will guide and deepen and inspire your prayer life.
It will enable you, as Tickle says, to “pray with the church,” throughout history and around the world. It will plant in you the seeds of a prayer language, a way to express yourself at all times, even when you are praying in the car or in a line at the supermarket.
The words, rhythms, cadences, and sentiments of these prayers will sink into your heart and soul and become to you a comfort and a strength. They may even help you discover unceasing prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:17) as you find the words returning to your mind over and over again.