Welcome to the daily prayer guide for the month of September! Today is Thursday, Sept. 29.
Let me take a moment to tell you about two “pilgrim” books that have meant a lot to me, and that tie in well with times of prayer and meditation. The first one is pretty widely known among Christians, John Bunyan’s “The Pilgrim’s Progress.” It is an allegorical tale reflecting the Christian journey into salvation and beyond. (Watch out for those fiery darts!) One of my great joys when my children were small was reading them “Little Pilgrim’s Progress,” a child-oriented version of the story by Helen L. Taylor.
Some may find this a more difficult read, but I also recommend working through “The Way of a Pilgrim,” a classic Eastern Orthodox story. The unknown author imagines a 19th-century peasant who is determined to fully comprehend and live out the Apostle Paul’s instruction to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Again, here’s our basic prayer pattern for the morning:
Praise and Thanksgiving. Again, some useful psalms to consider as part of your time of praise: 18, 19, 21, 29, 30, 32, 33, 34, 40, 41, 66, 106, 113, 116, 135, 136, 138, 145, 149, 150. Perhaps over several days you can simply work through the list. Once you’re done, you’ll have a good sense of how to spot and pray psalms of praise.
Confession. And remember the Good News: In the name of Jesus Christ, you are forgiven!
Petitions. Remember global concerns, then move to praying for your nation, and then from there for your community (including work or school), your church, your family and yourself.
Scripture. After selecting a reading, focus on a verse or verses that really seem to speak to you. Pray around those words.
The Lord’s Prayer, and some silent time.
Meditative prayer and reflection on the day. Sometimes people find this a good time to keep a few private notes in a diary or notebook.
May you sleep well and arise with a joyous heart.