Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules. Psalm 119:164
For the peace from above, for the loving kindness of God, and for the salvation of my soul, I pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
For the peace of the world, for the welfare of the holy church of God, and for the unity of all peoples, I pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
For the leaders of the nations and for all in authority, for my city and community, and for those who live in them, I pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.
For the aged and infirm, for the widowed and orphans, and for the sick and the suffering, I pray to the Lord. Lord have mercy.
For the poor and the oppressed, for the unemployed and the destitute, for prisoners and captives, and for all who remember care for them, I pray to the Lord. Lord have mercy.
Grant that every member of the Church may truly and humble serve you and show your love and kindness to all people, I pray to the Lord. Lord have mercy.
For all who have died in the hope of the resurrection, and for all the departed, I pray to the Lord. Lord have mercy.
Phyllis Tickle in Divine Hours: Pocket Edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007) adapted from the litanies on pages 5, 20, 21, and 69.
Lent begins tomorrow. It is a season to grow in the areas of prayer, fasting, and giving. My hope for my Lenten journey (and for yours) linked to generosity is that kindness will shift from sometime I do to something I am. Make it so, Lord Jesus.
For the discipline of prayer, I plan to pray the divine hours. This simply means I have set a daily alarm on my phone from 6 March 2019 to 21 April 2019 to pray at 6am (Prime), 9am (Terce), 12noon (Sext), 3pm (None), 6pm (Vespers), 9am (Compline), and in the night (Lauds or Matins).
This is not about winning brownie points with God. It’s about becoming a person after God’s heart. I will join followers of Christ through the centuries and servants of God all the way back to the days of King David, who paused seven times a day. Care to join me?
Sometimes I plan to read a Psalm. Other times I will pray a prayer like the litany above. I may proclaim praise or cry out for help depending on my situation. Whether or not you join me, I pray you take time to focus on prayer this Lent.
Today’s Scripture comes from Psalm 119, often called “the treasury of David.” I must note that David shouts praise for the “righteous rules” of the Lord. This refers not to a list of things to do so God will accept you. Hear him praising the Lord that when we walk in His ways, we find the path that is right and good.
Those who follow God’s ways or His design for life and living, become loving and kind. We serve as conduits of divine generosity through which spiritual and material blessings flow. May God guide us all on what to pray for, fast from, and give to this Lent so that, like our Lord Jesus, we become kind and generous.