I stumbled on fixed-hour prayer about eight years ago. After my father passed away, I found my energy levels really low, and I couldn't sustain my usual devotional life. I did all the regular things: the ACTS acrostic and extemporaneous prayer. I replicated prayer meetings on a one-on-one basis. But nothing seemed to work. I had heard a priest talk about the Daily Office, so, even though it sounded like cheating to me, I thought I would try reading other people's prayers.
I couldn't find that particular prayer book, but I came across The Divine Hours by Phyllis Tickle. Her adaptation of the Benedictine prayer format included readings every three hours of the day, plus one for bedtime. I started with once a day, then twice, and soon I was up to four times a day. Fixed-hour prayer transformed my prayer life.
Until that time, I had not preached often on daily prayer, because I didn't want to preach something that I wasn't doing myself. Our contemporary models for prayer were somehow superhuman: ...1
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