September 2008


One of the things we are trying to do consistently as a family is some fixed hour prayer.  We are trying to come together in the morning and evening around the kitchen table and start our day with some “form” prayer.  We find it much easier in the evening as the mornings sometimes get a little chaotic!!  However, we are enjoying being immersed in the prayers of the Scriptures and have discussions about “God stories”.  We are even going to write some evening prayers for each season that, if others want, they can participate in too.

However, yesterday I was reminded that it is not just in the morning and evening that we need to stop and pause.  Personally, I need it in the dead middle of my day when I am the most busy.  I need a time to stop and bring all I am doing back to God and live again within His story (not the one I am creating).

So here is the prayer that God invited me into yesterday.  It comes from the Northumbria Community in Ireland, and for me, it helps me to bring my work into the presence of the King.  I hope you will at least try to practice the rhythm of an afternoon prayer.  May you enjoy the pause.  May you enjoy the Presence of the Father.  May you remember your place in His story.

Midday Prayer –My Work

Pause for a moment or two.

Opening

Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us.
Establish Thou the work of our hands;
establish Thou the work of our hands.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name;
Thy kingdom come;
Thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. Forever and ever. Amen

Declaration of faith

We believe and trust in God the Father Almighty.
We believe and trust in Jesus Christ His Son.
We believe and trust in the Holy Spirit.
We believe and trust in the Three in One.

Canticle

Teach us, dear Lord, to number our days;
that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
Oh, satisfy us early with Thy mercy,
that we may rejoice and be glad all of our days.
And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us;
and establish Thou the work of our hands.
And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us;
and establish Thou the work of our hands, dear Lord.

Blessing

Let nothing disturb thee,
nothing affright thee;
all things are passing,
God never changeth!
Patient endurance attaineth to all things;
who God possesseth
in nothing is wanting;
alone God sufficeth.

+ In the name of the Father,
the Son,
and the Holy Spirit. Amen

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Please visit the tabs above for a history of each of the seasons, as well as a short explanation about the Story-Formed Calendar.  (And Scroll down for more current musings!)

For more ideas, prayers, and activities for each season, click on the categories to the right.  As you participate and live within the seasons and the story of the Gospel, I’d love to hear your insights, prayers, and whatever else you’d like to share.  This is a community effort as we are formed by the story of God and we need to hear from one another.

The price of the calendar is $14 (plus shipping).  You can order it by emailing at2

It is my prayer that you, your family, and/or your community would be blessed by the calendar.  And that this blog would be an added encouragement and a regular stopping place in your spiritual formation.

****A NOTE TO ALL YOU PERFECTIONISTS****

The idea of using the calendar is not perfection.  Since many of us come from non-liturgical traditions, living within the story of Jesus and the rhythm of the Christian seasons may be difficult.  However, like most difficult endevours, the fruit of sticking in there is worth it!

If you have never even really heard of “Christian Seasons”, I’d encourage you to pick one or two seasons to really intentionally live and participate in.  Then enjoy and/or explore the rest of the year with no expectations of perfection.  Then, with each additional year, you can add to what you’ve already lived out the previous year.  If you don’t do so well one season, come back and try in the next one.  The great thing about the calendar is that, as you put all your events/appointments/special days on it, it gently reminds you Whose story you live in and how to live within it.

It is a process and a journey…not something to be mastered!

Last year, after reading through passages in Isaiah and then Luke 1 & 2 with our small group, I was struck with these two men – Isaiah and Simeon. They stand out to me almost as bookends of the Advent story.

One a prophet
One a devout man
Both looking.

One tells of the Messiah’s coming
One reads those prophecies
Both groan to see the fulfillment.

One lived under numerous rulers
One lived in the empire of Caesar
Both awaited a new King.

One spoke the words God gave him
One heard the words God gave him
Both lived with silence.

One told a nation
One blessed a mother
Both longed for Shalom

One is a large presence in the Scriptures
One is a small supporting actor
Both followed the Spirit in his role.

One spoke of the Temple’s destruction
One entered the Temple to seek
Both waited expectantly.

One died without clarity
One died having seen
Both died wrapped in hope.

One made God present to Israel
One, living in Israel, had God presented to him
Both cried to see HIS day!