Thursday, June 28, 2007

Prayer Chapel in a Book

Note>>>The Divine Hours Pocket Edition is perfect for a prayer life stuck in the rut of down the list praying. This chapel-in-a-book is like a seven day crash diet aimed to refocus a praying pastor toward a regular and refreshed daily life of prayer. Seven days of seven daily segments, each with a variety of expressions, from readings to hymns to greetings to prayers of great saints.===>Click headline to access website . . .

A pocket edition of Phyllis Tickle's celebrated Divine Hours ™, perfect for traveling, business engagements, and other occasions when a small volume is ideal

When Phyllis Tickle's marvelous devotional trilogy The Divine Hours ™ appeared, readers responded with gratitude, praise, and a great many requests for an edition of hourly prayers that they could easily carry with them--an edition that would make this ancient form of Christian worship compatible with the pace and mobility of modern life.

Now, in The Divine Hours Pocket Edition ™, Tickle has gathered one full week of fixed-hour prayers, providing an ideal companion for travelers, office-workers, people on retreat or pilgrimage, as well as newcomers to this age-old spiritual practice. As Tickle writes in her introduction, "prayer is always a place as well as an action, and the daily offices are like small chapels or wayside stations within the day's courses." Seven of these daily offices are offered for each day of the week, and each office contains the Call to Prayer, the Request for Presence, the Greeting, the Reading, the Gloria, the Psalm, the Small Verse, the Lord's Prayer, the Petition, and the Final Thanksgiving. Tickle draws her texts primarily from the Book of Common Prayer and the writings of the Church Fathers, and includes memorable devotional and meditative poems by Cleland McAfee, Charles Wesley, Phos Hilaron, and others. Tickle also provides a chapter of "Traditional, Seasonal, and Occasional Prayers" in order to accommodate special dates like Advent, Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving; major life-changes such as marriage, birth, death, and illness; and moments of special petition or thanksgiving.

For all those who want to carry a "small chapel" of prayers with them, The Divine Hours Pocket Edition ™ offers a convenient, easy-to-use, and deeply spiritual guide to a devotional practice that extends all the way back to Christ and the twelve Apostles.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

"Quote; Unquote"

"You beg. You whimper. You load down God with empty praise.

You tell him sins that he already knows full well.
You seek to change his changeless will...
And sometimes, by God's grace, a prayer is heard."

Frederick Buechner
Quoted in Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? by Philip Yancey

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

13 ways to refresh your soul

13 ways to refresh your soul.
by Skye Jethani

How does a pastor's soul find rejuvenation? That is the question Leadership asked dozens of church leaders, and beyond the valuable, but expected, answer of "read the Bible and pray," many of the answers were insightful and unexpected. Here are 13 things various pastors have done to benefit the soul.

1. Take a walk.
Even a casual reading of the New Testament reveals that Jesus and his disciples did a lot of walking. Of course, for them it was the primary form of transportation, not necessarily a spiritual discipline. Still, regularly taking a long walk can quiet your soul and help you draw near to God. Many pastors report using walks to internalize their sermons and prepare their souls to preach.

2. Pray the daily offices.
In the early centuries, Christians gathered at designated times during the day for prayer. These prayer times, known as "offices," are still practiced by believers today. With the aid of a prayer book, you can pray alone knowing that others across the globe are sharing in your prayers at the same time. David Robinson, pastor of Harvest Fellowship Church in Manhattan, Kansas, says, "Learning to pray along with the Church and for the Church has significantly changed the scope and perspective of my prayers from simply the 'world around me' to the overriding and delivering promises of God's glory."


9. Find a spiritual director.
Not exactly therapy, not quite coaching, a spiritual director offers something else: a God's-eye view of your soul. Dieter Zander, pastor of spiritual formation at Bay Marin Community Church in Novato, California, visits his director, Father Tom, once a month.

"Just the discipline of going to him and submitting to his insights has been a rich experience for me," he says.

Brian Owen, from Campus Crusade, credits his spiritual director for helping him recognize God's movements in his life. "My spiritual director helps me step back and notice the activity of God in the intimate details of my life. I often leave our sessions with a fresh sense of hope, with greater awareness of God's will."

10. Meditate on the Lord's Prayer.
The Eastern Church has a tradition known as "hesychasm." This is the practice of repeating a short prayer, such as the Jesus prayer ("Lord have mercy" or the extended form, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner") over and over.

The goal is to focus your mind on God so you can commune with him more intimately. Many short passages of Scripture are used for this kind of prayer, but one of the most common is the Lord's Prayer.

Try sitting in silence for five minutes, and then say the Lord's Prayer reflectively aloud. Afterward, center your thoughts on one word or phrase and allow it to inspire your own prayers to God. One pastor reports using this practice three times a day or whenever he feels frazzled===>Click headline for complete article . . .