Dedicatory Prayer

Posted by on July 9, 2013 in faith, prayer, ritual, spirituality | 8 comments

Day 110-Time...Morning prayers never made sense to me. Evening prayers, I get: reflect on your day, be grateful for the goodness it brought, repent for the things you did wrong, and bless the people who crossed your path. But morning prayers? Doesn’t the prayer from the evening carry over? It’s not like your life has changed much between going to bed and waking up. In general, your life is still the same and it’s unlikely you committed grievous sins in your sleep. What is there to pray about in the morning? “Please bless this day,” feels empty and passive.

So I stopped worrying about morning prayers. I did evening prayers, and they’re pretty much the same. “Dear Heavenly Father, Ditto to what I said last night.”

Like everyone, I have a busy life. It is often interrupted by the distraction of the Internet. And children. And day dreaming. On one such day, where my to-do list was long and the Internet was enticing, there was a 10-15 minute task that I kept meaning to do, but kept putting off.

I needed just 10 minutes. And I needed to be accountable to someone else other than myself.

So I stopped and I knelt down. I prostrated myself in my bedroom towards the door and decided I’d do a prayer. A dedicatory prayer.

“Heavenly Parents. I have a lot to do. And I have one thing in particular that I need to do. By the power of faith I hold, I dedicate the next 10 minutes to You and to finishing this. Amen.”

Dedicating those minutes made them sacred. And I was “on the clock” responsible to God and the universe.

I’ve found these dedicatory prayers helpful. I’ll dedicate time to avoiding distractions or impulses (biting my nails). I’ll dedicate time to working on projects. The minutes set aside are precious and far more productive than if I was tackling them on my own.

I still don’t have morning prayer, but instead many many small dedicatory prayers. Praying for a whole day is too much, too easily ignored and forgotten. But the next 5 minutes, I can dedicate that.

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8 Comments

  1. After a silent retreat at a Trappist monastery, where I participated in the Divine Office with the monks, I have continued to pray the Liturgy of the Hours on a daily basis. Although reciting the prayers for Vigils, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Compline is possible if one is willing to rise in the middle of the night, and take breaks for prayer during the day ,I have chosen, for the most part, to recite the Office morning and night. It is amazing to pray with the entire Church every day. In practice, it takes very little time and it continues a practice which is mentioned in the Psalms:
    “In the morning I offer you my prayer”
    “At midnight I will rise and thank you”
    “Evening, morning and at noon I will cry and lament”
    “Seven times a day I praise you”.

    Somedays I recite more hours, but always at least two. I particularly like the fact that the Psalmist has such obvious feet of clay…

    • I did not know there was a Liturgy of the Hours. Thank you for sharing.

  2. TopHat,
    I love this. I love that you so comfortably pray to Heavenly Parents, and I love that you’ve found a way to reach out and touch deity in ways that makes your time and actions meaningful. I’m going to start doing dedicatory prayers too!

  3. I remember when I was a teen and had regular youth interviews, the bishop asked me if I prayed morning and night. I admitted that I only prayed at night and that I would try harder about morning. He looked down at his notes and told me that I said the exact same thing at my interview the year before.

    • He took notes? Wow. Dedicated bishop. I remember being asked if I pray/read scriptures regularly and said, “Well, I try.” His response was, “Well, that’s all we ask! Just try.” I loved that.

  4. TopHat, this is wonderful. It’s going into my file of things I want to remember.

  5. I’ve never been a big fan of praying. I’m also not a fan of temple attendance. Or really anything that involves sitting still and meditating. A friend of mine who serves as a pastor in the Church of Christ suggested walking labyrinths and that sometimes helps. I also enjoy sacrament, probably because it is short and so it is easier to stay focused for that long. I am going to add dedicatory prayers to my repertoire. They are short, specific, and action-oriented. They might be just what I need. Thanks, TopHat.

  6. Such a great idea. I love it.

    I do like morning prayers. I like the focus they bring to my day. And I just have to ask God to walk w me because heaven know that in my life right now, I can’t make it on my own.

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