The earliest Christians disciplined themselves by praying four times a day, according to the Didache (also known as the Teaching of the Apostles ). The prayer times were once upon rising, once at noon, once at evening, and once before bedtime. Things got more elaborate in medieval monasteries, but in modern times many denominations still strongly urge their clergy to practice a personal discipline of at least morning and evening prayer.
I can witness to the benefits of disciplining oneself to regular prayer. If you would like to try this for yourself, here is a plan for four daily prayer times. You can adapt it as you like. I warn you that it will be fun at first but it will rapidly degenerate to a chore. If you persist, however, you will break through the other end and find great joy in regular prayer!
(Each prayer time will take from five to twenty minutes, depending on how chatty you are!)
If your child brought you a flower every day, would you be upset if it was always the same flower? Remember this as you pray. Faithfulness and discipline are more important than creativity. God isn’t going to give you a black mark just because you can’t think of something different each day.
Morning Prayer | Noontime Prayer | Evening Prayer | Bedtime Prayer | Other Prayers