Pray with Us
The earliest references to specific daily acts of worship are found in Exodus 29, where sacrifices are prescribed in the morning and at twilight.
References to prescribed prayers or other specific worship experiences are found in Samuel, Nehemiah, Isaiah, Daniel, and in the Psalms.
Prayers, such as “the Shema” from Deuteronomy 6, were taught to be prayed constantly and throughout the day. Imagine—an entire community whispering the words together, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord your God is one….” throughout the day.
In the New Testament, daily prayer times adhered to the Roman “business” day. Prayer breaks were typically at 9 a.m., 12 p.m., and 3 p.m. Most people used those breaks for lunch and time off from work, but many Jews and eventually the early Christians would use the time to pray. The gospel writers marked the hours as they related the events of Jesus’ crucifixion. The “Hours” have a deep and ancient presence in the legacy of our faith.
References to the “Hours” are found in Acts 3, 4, and 10. A first–century document known as the Didache (Greek for “teaching”) opens with the line, “Teaching of the Lord to the Gentiles by the Twelve Apostles.” It outlines Christian ethics, the sacraments, and Church organization. It also encourages all Christians to pray the Lord’s Prayer at three fixed times of day.
The idea of praying together at the same time across a vast distance is ancient. It has been a means by which entire communities have historically made themselves available to God and to the influence of the Spirit.
Through The Daily Office, prescribed words are a gift to us; a gift throughout history from holy and available people; a gift that has survived the worst tragedies of our sin–ridden humanity; a gift passed down from searching soul to searching soul; a gift through which God has blessed a temporary world with a touch of eternity.
We’re looking forward to sharing this experience from God with you. From the depth of our hearts, we thank you for taking time to “Pray with Us.”