Last week I asked my readers to chime in with their thoughts and experiences regarding fixed hour prayer. There was a mix of opinions, and many great points about why folks do (and sometimes don't) engage the practice. Rather than trying to summarize, I'll just invite you to go back and read the comments, and stick to answering my own questions now.
I don't really remember how I took up fixed hour prayer; I knew it was something that monks and nuns practiced, and before I went to Dallas, I knew a buddy involved with the Vine and Branches Community was taking it up with Alan's encouragement. I learned to pray Compline (Night Prayer) while involved with an Episcopalian congregation my senior year at Georgetown, and before that did it a little with the help of the Mission St. Clare website. I started praying the Anglican version out of the American Book of Common Prayer while in Dallas, but did it almost exclusively alone. Which isn't so cool.
At first I used the Book of Common Prayer or the St. Clare website, but found the offices to0 long for me at that point. I started using Phyllis Tickle's Divine Hours before leaving for Britain last year, which is a three volume abbreviated Office that requires no flipping back and forth in a book. Before going to Oxford, I packed a copy of Shorter Christian Prayer, which is a short version of the Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Hours. I did it originally because I wanted that liturgical connection to my home community (that's what VBCC prays) while spending my time with the (um) hOME Community and the Church of England.
Since then, I have decided that Shorter Christian Prayer is the most economical and practically accessible form of the Daily Office to teach and practice with others.
It's also my experience that burned out evangelicals love it, because it means they can pray and be with the Lord without trying to "get it up for Jesus" - try to muster religious feelings and "excitement for the Lord."
And I think I'll leave it at that, for the moment.
I keep 5 copies of SCP in the house; Jesse and I try to do at least one Office a day, and if any interested friends are around, they join us. It's pretty sweet.
Okay, time to make coffee.
Oh, go read this guy:
Lefty Tude: "Life in the Monastery."