Today I am pleased to unveil a project I’ve been working on for half a year . It’s a book project, titled PRAYERS FOR MY CITY: A Fixed-Hour Prayer Guide for Grand Rapids. For several years I’ve run a website connected to this one that hosts a condensed version of The Divine (Daily) Office, an ancient Christian spiritual prayer practice. (In the next post I’ll explain more what fixed-hour prayers is exactly, for those who are unaware) And a year ago I thought how great it would be to turn that website into a book to help broaden the reach and impact of this prayer practice and connect Christians, particularly in Grand Rapids, to this prayer format. Well, several months later, here we go. It’ll be available in the next few weeks.
Now I know there are several prayer books already available, whether The Book of Common Prayer itself or a similar one that originally inspired the website by Phyllis Tickle, called The Divine Hours. In fact, you could say PRAYERS FOR MY CITY is a cross between the two, but with a twist. Instead of the 30-40 minute prayer sessions the BCP is known for, and for which The Divine Hours sort of solves, PMC is an amended form that takes the best of the original BCP and pairs it down into three, seven day prayer sessions, morning, afternoon, and evening. Each session lasts about 15-20 minutes, which makes praying during fixed-hours much more manageable. So this prayer book is unique in that it preserves the vital elements of fixed-hour prayer, while making it incredibly accessible and simple to follow. Another unique feature are the twenty-one daily prayers I’ve written for Grand Rapids, prayers of intercession for the homeless, city leaders, the school system, widows and orphans, and even your own unique role in our city.
Also, included are two separate Bible reading plans: a calendar plan for reading the Bible in one year from January 1 to December 31; and a 365 day reading plan that will get you through the Bible entirely, but allows for missed or skipped reading days without destroying your reading schedule, which means you can read at your own pace. So if you’ve ever wanted to make it through the Bible in one year or simply want to read through the whole thing from beginning to end, now you can along side dedicated prayer sessions. And since we are still so fresh in the new year, this could be just the ticket toward diving deeper into God’s Holy Scriptures and connecting to Him more intimately in prayer. This is a project with which I am personally pleased and also very happy to introduce and offer to my city.
You may be asking, “Why a fixed-hour prayer guide for Grand Rapids?” Good question. Really, it could have been formatted for anyone to buy, and anyone still can buy the book and use it as a resource of prayer for their own city, but I’ve tailored the book specifically for Grand Rapids because I have a deep passion for helping impact my own backyard. That’s why I started a company last year dedicated to hyperlocal publishing and other ventures, called THEOKLESIA. It’s a combination of two recognizable words: Theology and Ekklesia. I am very interested in “doing theology” for the Church and fostering a movement that will help the Church reconnect to the historic Christian faith, specifically the Church of Grand Rapids. Hence the name THEO(ology)-(ek)KLESIA. And this, along with other resources coming out this year, is one way I hope to foster such a reconnective movement, for the glory of God and good of my hometown.
In the end, I hope this book will help Christians throughout my city not only grow deeper in relationship with God through Jesus Christ through regular prayer and Scripture study, but also help them join with one voice in prayer for our city, for it’s rescue and re-creation. Our world is speeding up, people are busy, and worship is considered a waste of time. I hope this book will be an oasis amidst this chaos, and help Grand Rapids reorient its life around the Eternal.
PRAYERS FOR MY CITY: A Fixed-Hour Prayer Guide for Grand Rapids is available locally and online for
$12.95 (you can order it HERE for $10, including shipping). It’s also for NOOK and Kindle for $5.99.