Pray Where you Are – The Lost Dogs
I’ve been praying the hours for the past five years. My general practice is to use the Book of Common Prayer liturgy for the morning prayers. I just do it online. That way I’m reading along with the lectionary readings – which syncs me up with a lot of Christians around the world. The rest of the day I generally do the Divine Hours stuff from Phyllis Tickle – though I’m pretty lame at Compline, even though it is my favorite hour. Nevertheless, that syncs me up with a lot of Christians who pray that liturgy, including a growing number at my church. After I first began this discipline way back in 2003, I remember feeling as though I had received a great gift. It gave me back a sense of rhythm and grace that I had been lacking for many years.
Lately, as more friends begin to embrace this practice with me, I’ve begun to enjoy the connectedness again. I’m firmly convinced that to actually follow God is impossible without the body of Christ (the church). It’s impossible to resist the power of the culture, the power of selfishness, the “Powers,” unless we are tethered to the people of God in a significant, defining way. Even though it’s messy and uncomfortable; even though it forces us to love people we don’t like, even though some people leave and pass judgment upon us, it has to happen or we will never become Christ-like. It’s just who we are; it’s just what we do.
But to be tethered to each other with our pace of life and lack of proximity is nearly impossible. I can’t see the folks from my church everyday when we live in the suburbs – it just doesn’t happen. So I’ve begun to try and find people who want to be tethered by the hours. If we can’t be physically in each other’s lives everyday, perhaps we can become tethered to one another by our common practice of ordering our day around prayer at certain fixed times.
If you want in on it, here’s all you’ve got to do. Set the alarm on your cell phone or watch or computer to go off at 9:00am, 2:00pm, 4:00pm, and 10:00pm. (these are just the hours that seem to work best for working people, stay at home moms, and people fro all walks of life.) When the alarm clock goes off, take time to pray using either the BCP Hours or Phyllis Tickle’s Divine Hours. If you can’t get to a book or computer at the time, just say the Lord’s Prayer.
Often times I’ll listen to this great song by the Lost Dogs before I jump in – just to make sure that I pray the hours with passion. If you want to take part in this, fire me an email and let me know. I’m going to try to find a way to keep us connected via email so that we can all know who else is praying and who we are tethered to.
Pray Where You Are – The Lost Dogs
In the submarines and tanks
In the S&Ls; and banks
In the cancer wards, the prisons and the bars
On the earth and on the moon
In the closet, in your room
In the flop houses, the think tanks and the farms
To the salesman forever trying to sell
To the faithful daughter walking to the well
Oh, pray where you are
Pray where you are
In the fields and in the factories
There’s no limits, rules or boundaries
At work or school or driving in your car
Pray where you are
In the strip joints, in the church
On a desperate lost child search
On the airplanes and the backroads and the rails
On the blacktops, on the beach
Down a sewer and up a creek
In the penthouses, the gulags and the jails
To the criminal with no one left to con
To the movie star whose day has come and gone
To the junky with his back against the wall
To the lawman as he breaks another law
In the desert, off the shore
In peacetime and in war
In the pentagon, the court rooms and the malls
In the tents and in the caves
At the truckstops, by the graves
In our hopes and fears and struggles great and small
To the corner bum that no one seems to hear
To the president who prays for four more years
Pray where you are…