I wasn’t sure how I would feel about praying a written prayer. After all, these weren’t my words, so how could I mean it?
But what does it mean to “mean it?” Do I need to screw my face up the right way when I’m saying it? Does my voice need to go into a raspy, quiet, contemplative tone? Do I need to feel something, well, meaningful while I’m talking with God? Do the words need to be original, not some practiced speech or memorized rite?
I don’t think any of those accurately describe “meaning it.”
For me, “meaning it” equates to understanding, agreeing with and appreciating what is being said.
By repeating the same words day after day, week after week, the meaning of what I’m saying has become more significant. As I’ve grown more familiar with the prayer, I’ve encountered greater beauty in what I’m praying. And, praying someone else’s words has certainly improved my “creative” prayer life, in that organic, spontaneous prayer has become a more frequent occurrence during my day.
I strongly recommend praying the office. Developing a sacred rhythm – despite the fact it’s only been three weeks – has already been a wonderful experience for me. I mean it.
Do you participate in any daily prayer ritual? If so, what does it look like? And how do you keep meaning it?
Photo by Jeff The Trojan.