But mornings are generally crazy for me. I set my alarm for 6:30 on workdays and just barely have time to make it to work at 8:00 . I have no leisurely time in which to pray. Generally, it’s a flat-out race to tend the cats, make the bed, shower, dress, grab lunch from the refrigerator, and get to work on time. When I’m lucky, I have time to brew my coffee and enjoy a cup with the cats.
Today was different. For no reason I can explain, I woke around 5:30 a.m., and I felt rested and ready to arise. I could have rolled over and tried to sleep a while longer, but I decided to get up and enjoy a leisurely morning. I had plenty of time to take care of all my morning duties. And I had enough leisure time, so that I decided to say morning prayer.
Now I am envious of you who do that as a daily discipline.
I thought it might feel weird to pray the daily office all alone, with the prayer book that has words for the officiant, the people, and the readers. But I said them all … all by myself. And it didn’t feel weird at all.
I will confess it did feel a bit weird – here alone in my home – to read the words of what “we” believe and what “we” pray and what “we” confess. But I decided that God would understand that the “we” was all the other people praying the daily office all alone, all over the world, offering up their prayers together as “we.”
Something weird happened for me. Not very far into the office, I had to pause and go grab some Kleenex. As Elizabeth would say, my eyes started sweating. It was a profound and special prayer time for me. I love the beauty of our prayers. Opening myself to them as the sun rose did something – I don’t know or understand what! – to me.
This morning prayer time seemed to change my experience of my work day. I don’t quite know how to describe it. But I was more centered all day. I think I was a bit more charitable and kind. I want to believe that the prayers worked their grace in me.
I sure wish I could force my body into a new schedule so that I could do this regularly. I know it probably won’t happen, but I’ll leap at the next opportunity.
2: Prayer at Dawn