Daily prayer scraps
Tim Keller shares some thoughts on daily prayer and Bible reading in a brief blog post, Scraps of Thoughts on Daily Prayer – interesting to get a little insight into his own disciplines; invaluable in sharing some helpful resources which may turn out to be good fits for you too.
"There are two kinds of Bible reading that I try to do. I read the psalms through every month using the Book of Common Prayer's daily office. I also read through the Bible using Robert Murray M'Cheyne's reading calendar. I take the more relaxed version – two chapters a day, which takes you through the Old Testament every two years and the New Testament every year. I do the M'Cheyne reading and some of the psalms in the morning, and read some Psalms in the evening. I choose one or two things from the psalms and M'Cheyne chapters to meditate on, to conclude my morning devotions."
But don't despair yet. Keller proves realistic and practical:
"The problem with mid-day prayer is finding a time for it, since every day is different. All I need is to get alone for a few minutes, but that is often impossible, or more often than not I just forget. However, I carry a little guide to mid-day prayer in my wallet which I can take out and use.
Be sure to follow the links to the ESV website where you'll find the Daily Office and M'Cheyne's reading calendar among several other resources. Bill recorded a short podcast along these sames lines last year. You can find that here.
Interesting to note that the official Book of Common Prayer (at least in the UK) has no ‘midday office’; it has Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer. I love the way in which the Psalms are read through each month, and almost all of scripture at least once a year. They are also designed for communal use, preferably led by a minister; and are clumsy in an individual or even family context (although not entirely unusable). Until we are able to come back to the concept of daily communal services (which is much to be desired) I fear that these will remain confined to occasional use amongst clergy who are obliged to use them.