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Do You Use a Prayer Book?

What do you do to reconnect with God on an individual basis?

More and more people these days seem to be using “fixed hour prayer” or structured prayer books to keep themselves in touch with God. I often mark their rise in popularity in the late 1990s with the publication of The Divine Hours by Phyllis Tickle, former PW religion editor and now a popular intellectual in religion.

Another author book of note is Robert Benson’s Venite: A Book of Daily Prayer. There’s also been a movement around Lectio Divina, or reading scripture aloud in a small group as a way to draw oneself into God’s presence. A popular example of Lectio Divina is Be Still, a book put out by actor Judge Reinhold and his wife Amy.

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As one who works in religious publishing, it is interesting to me that on Joel Miller’s blog, you’ll read about a publishing executive at Thomas Nelson who likewise explains that he uses a book of prayers to help him keep a regular routine, even an Eastern Orthodox book of prayers. And I myself recently finished going through The Little Book of Hours: Praying with the Community of Jesus, which guided me in regular, daily prayer. As I wrote on, I found it so helpful I decided to go through the month of prayers twice. And now I’d like to find something similar.

To many of us, these kinds of prayer books and practices might sound a bit monkish, exotic, and perhaps stuffy and “high” church, or not spontaneous. But what seems to be happening here is that people are looking for something that roots them, that connects them to something people everywhere have been doing for millennia.

What do you do for a regular time of settling into and reconnecting with God on an individual basis? Have you ever tried any of these books?

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