I didn’t always see the value of written prayers until I attended an Anglican church one summer. I discovered the beauty and depth — not to mention the Scriptural content — of well-designed written prayers. That opened the door for me to discover books like The Valley of Vision and Piercing Heaven (affiliate links).
A friend one day gave me a book of written prayers called Every Moment Holy (affiliate link), “a book of liturgies for the ordinary events of daily life … These are ways of reminding us that our lives are shot through with sacred purpose even when, especially when, we are too busy or too caught up in our busyness to notice.” The book contains almost 300 pages of liturgies written for the most mundane occasions: for domestic days, laundering, the preparation of a meal, the washing of windows, the changing of diapers, the first snow, and more. I’ll probably never use some of them, like the liturgy for the keeping of bees, for instance. But others hit home no matter how much I want to deny it: a liturgy before consuming media, for instance, or for those feeling the impulse to buy, or who covet the latest technology.
We keep this book out in our living room by the fireplace for quick reference. Char and I share a coffee every morning followed by prayer. The other day she suggested that we use a prayer from Every Moment Holy. We pulled it out and found one called “For Those Flooded By Too Much Information.” On the heels of the U.S. election, it was just what we needed.
In a world so worried and interconnected,
our anxious hearts are pummeled by
an endless barrage of troubling news.
We are daily aware of more grief, O Lord,
than we can rightly consider…
And that’s just the thing about these prayers. They help to identify what’s going on in my heart and give voice to what’s on my mind. I know God can sort out my incoherent ramblings, and often does, but it helps to be guided reliably on how to pray. I’ve found, many times, that this book guides me to express the right things to God, things that I wouldn’t have considered on my own.
I also appreciate how Every Moment Holy helps the reader identify ordinary moments — preparing a meal, beginning a book, setting up a Christmas tree, preparing to shop, waiting in line — as holy moments. And I love the artwork included in the book, which you can also purchase separately.
You can download individual liturgies for personal or group use online. You can also buy full-sized or audiobook versions, and volume two — on death, grief, and hope — will be released in February 2021.
If you are looking for something to add to your Christmas gift, or for a gift to give to others, you can’t go wrong with this book. It’s one of the most meaningful gifts we’ve ever been given, and we’ve enjoyed sharing it with others too.