A recent bestseller, Psycho-Cybernetics, Dr. Maxwell Maltz has offered us a perspective on how to develop a habit. He noticed that for patients who underwent plastic surgery it took them up to 21 days before they felt at home in their new faces. Patients who have also experienced “phantom sensations” where they sense the loss of their limb makes a sharp turn of transition after…you guessed it: 21 Days. (Exerpt inspired from Orange Circle Studio Co. ).
Looking into this I thought it well to approach our Church season with a 21 Day reflection and prayer on Pentecost with the use of “The Daily Office.” The Daily Office is a set form of prayer, reading, and singing throughout the day that is practiced by the Universal Church around the world in Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican circles. As a Pentecostal I will be integrating loose prayers with a Daily Structure. You see for me, Pentecost is a celebrated season of Power, Purity, and Prayer.
First, Power: When the Holy Spirit came upon the Primitive Church of the 1st Century, He came with great efficacy for righteousness, witness to the nations of Christ even if unto death, and in spiritual gifts. For the first week I’ll be choosing themes in my life related to this subject. I’ll be asking the question of where is my power as an individual in both my family and my world. What kind of power do I live out of? Passive? Active? Aggressive? Assertive? Prophetic?” ect. As well as what is Christian power especially in regards to human weakness? Where am I weak and where is Christ strong in my life?
Second, Purity: As mentioned before, it is the work of the Holy Spirit to generate a righteous life. In other places Paul mentions that, “since we have been raised with Christ we should also seek the things that are above.” Purity, I think is more than just the obvious perverse thoughts, but it includes intentionality of heart and motivation. During this week I’ll be asking myself the question: what temperament is ruling me? What thoughts have a reign in my life? Lastly, how can I utilize the sacraments of communion, the daily office of prayer (www.bookofhours.org and The Book of Common Prayer), to maximize a most heartily devotion in my life.
Lastly, Prayer: As mentioned in number two, I’ll be engaging my mind and heart through singing psalms, having communion with my family before we go to bed (yes we’ll be using a little wine), and practicing what Saints have called, “The Daily Office.” This is with the intent of fulfilling Paul’s exhortation to pray without ceasing.” Here’s an example:
Morning (between 7-9am, sometime)
Afternoon (between 12-3pm, sometime)
Evening (between 5:30-10pm)
Communion and Rest (10pm)
Each of these have canticles where you sing a song or a psalm, penitential rites where you confess sins, as well as daily readings, quotes from other saints, and the “collects” which are selected prayers for your choice of prayer requests.
I invite you to use www.bookofhours.org or the [fancy_link link=”http://www.episcopalchurch.org/sites/default/files/downloads/book_of_common_prayer.pdf” variation=”blue” target=”blank”]Book of Common Prayer PDF[/fancy_link]
with me throughout the day.
Please send me any thoughts or questions in regards to using these resources or comment on what’s worked for you.