Advice needed for Liturgy of the Hours

Dear Friends in Christ:

I have a condensed version of the Liturgy of the Hours (Christian Prayer) plus a digital version of the full devotion. I set out to pray the evening prayer. But I can’t keep the momentum going.

Please share your experiences regarding praying the Divine Office. And please offer advice for how to stick to it.

God bless you all.

I tried Christian prayer but ended up going with the Laudate app on my Kindle morning and evening and it works perfectly for me. My Priest told me if I couldn’t do all of the daily hours the most important ones were morning and evening so that’s what I say. If I miss either one something doesn’t feel right.

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As a lay Dominican I will be required to pray morning and evening prayer. I’m in my candidacy phase, so I’m not required to do so now, but I will starting at my temporary promises, so I’m trying to get into the habit of it now. I suggest you start praying either morning prayer or evening prayer every day: just one of those hours. Once you can consistently pray one, add the other to your schedule. And so on and so forth as you see fit.

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I still miss a day or two here & there, what keeps me going is that I credit the religious & prayer warriors for keeping me in God’s good Grace & for coming back to the Church. So I’m basically praying it forward, if that makes sense.

I own Christian Prayer as well, but I use an app more than 90% of the time. It’s on my phone, so always with me & when I’m ready to pray, I don’t have to get my book ready which sometimes “kills the mood.”

Lastly, I want to please God at all times, but I know that I rarely do. But I believe it pleases God every time I make an effort to pray, more so if I make an effort to pray well, & consistently.

Hope that helps.

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Morning and evening prayer are, in the words of the General Instruction on the Breviary “the hinges on which the day rests” so these are the most important of the hours. To be honest, the hour I found kept slipping was prayer during the day. Still,forming habits is what helps us to maintaining momentum so what works for me is having regular times at which I pray each hour:

Office of readings: first thing
Morning prayer: before breakfast
Prayer during the day: noon
Evening prayer: just before dinner
Night prayer: last thing at night

Granted this timing is what works for me and may need adjusting to suit your lifestyle and schedule. What matters though is that you find a time which works for you and stick to it. Granted, there’ll inevitably be some stays when things slip - don’t get discouraged just get back on track and try to stay there.

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If there’s anyone you can pray with you might find it easier to continue. I’ve prayed with one other person and I’ve prayed with a group – either way is special.

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On retreat prayed with a group and it was very nice and different. But they did the regular large volume. It was with a religious community so they chanted, beautiful.

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It helped me to work my way up to it. First adding some sort of prayer routine to my morning and evening that isn’t the LOTH just to get used to the rhythm of it. Then working my way up to an abbreviated morning office like the one in the Magnificat. Then adding the Magnificat Evening. Then finally switching to the full morning office… then the evening.

I learned that if I jumped into it feet first I’d struggle to keep it going.

Oh the other thing is that I learned I had to be flexible and willing to start and stop an office if need be. My kids are still small, so sometimes they need me. For instance, the only way I can get evening prayer in is if I say it while making dinner.

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I am in a similar boat! I bought “Christian Prayer” not long ago and I too am struggling to keep going. I bought a book called “The Divine Office for DoDo’s” (that is the actual name… lol). It helped because it explained all the small nuances and gave so much encouragement. The best advice I can give (from someone fighting the same battle) - is to be forgiving of yourself. I try to imagine prayer like a mountain hike (journey), if someone asked me to try to a a laborious hike with them, they would know I was going to stumble and need some help. I would expect to stumble often. But - if I really wanted to go, then I would brush myself off and keep going. If the Lord is asking us to walk with Him in prayer, then He know’s our weakness, wants us to keep trying and we can’t give up when we stumble. Just keep at it!

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@Amberlea: Thanks for your comments. I have ibreviary, which makes it easy. (You may want to check it out.) You can get the app for iPhone and iPad. But for some reason, I want the book in my hand.

@SuscipeMeDomine: Thanks for that suggestion. I do have a prayer buddy. I’ll ask her.

@Fauken: God bless you for to becoming a lay Dominican.

To everyone else: Thanks for your suggestions.

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St. Thérèse says that God recognizes any attempt we make at prayer.

I’ve started small, using the Christian Prayer version of the Liturgy of the Hours. I’ve managed to recite the evening prayer two days in a row – with a prayer buddy.

God bless all of you for your suggestions and advice.

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