What is Methodist Prayer?
Methodist Prayer is based on Daily Prayer, the Church of England’s form of service for morning and evening prayer. Early Christians continued the Jewish practice of reciting prayers at certain hours of the day and night, and this practice became what is known in various Christian traditions as the Liturgy of the Hours, Divine Office, Daily Office or canonical hours.
We’ve trimmed down the current Anglican prayer liturgy a little and retained some components that were in John Wesley’s order of prayer for morning and evening in his 1784 prayer book Sunday Service of the Methodists in North America (e.g. the Apostle’s Creed and penitence). We’ve also added some early Methodist hymns and used a 21st century translation of the Scriptures: the Common English Bible (CEB).
Why is Methodist Prayer based on an order for prayer created by Anglicans?
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement in the 18th century, was an Anglican priest who never left the Church of England. Early Methodism was heavily influenced by Anglicanism, which itself was influenced by Roman Catholicism. We’ve found the Church of England’s Daily Prayer liturgy to be rich, biblical, and spiritually powerful.
Why are there prayers for only morning and evening?
While the Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Hours includes up to seven daily prayer times (three major hours and two to four minor hours), we’ve found that many people prefer only one or two times of structured prayer each day. We believe that simplifying the order of prayer, offering some flexibility and building in time for extemporaneous prayer makes the Liturgy of the Hours more accessible for everyday Christians. That being said, we're open to the possibility of developing additional daily prayer options in the future if there's sufficient demand.
If I miss a prayer time or Bible reading, do I have to make it up?
No, Methodist Prayer (or any order for daily prayer) should be viewed as a tool to help you pray more regularly and more effectively, not as an obligation or an item to check off of a to-do list. If you miss a prayer time, just get back on track with the next one.
What is the Common English Bible?
The Common English Bible (CEB) is a modern translation of the Holy Scriptures (completed in 2011) that was created through the careful work of 120 leading biblical scholars from 24 faith traditions. We think it does a wonderful job of balancing a commitment to accuracy and readability. The CEB is available in a number of formats and editions, but the one we recommend most is the Wesley Study Bible.