AnonymousDeleted UserOctober 14, 2020 at 2:27 pm
Praying the daily office was a challenge for me. I realize that these prayers are meant to be prayed with a congregation, rather than by an individual reading the prayers quietly to themselves. Trying to pray through reading unfamiliar liturgies made me realize how my relationship with text is usually one of extraction. Thoroughly trained by my liberal arts degree, I primarily read to extract an idea that I can utilize in a future argument. Until attempting it multiple times a day, I hadn’t realized how difficult reading devotionally had become for me. I’m grateful that praying the daily office helped me to slow down and consider this.
I appreciated John Calvin’s reflections on the phrase “Our Father.” It reminded me of the deeply relational nature of prayer, that Scripture continually defines God through God’s relationship to humanity. Father, Savior, Shepherd, King, Judge. Praying the Lord’s Prayer is an opportunity to remember the way God has chosen to be bound to humanity, and how I am also bound to a wide family of people throughout history and place. Both the Lord’s Prayer and the BCP connect me to the strangers who have prayed the same words both before me and synchronously with me. In prayer, I am not just speaking into a void, but joining in a chorus and communion.