I love using prayer books as a guide for daily prayer and reflection. Prayer books can help keep you accountable to your prayer goals and commitments even when you don’t want to pray. They can offer an added inspiration that you never would have uncovered on your own and they can be a nice supplement to daily reading of Scripture. The collection of prayers and reflections can also be a great guide to during liturgical seasons, which are special times dedicated to prayer. They can be an excellent aid to daily prayer throughout the year. In fact, Catholic Monks and Nuns pray the Divine Office throughout the day using prayer books as a guide.
Seasonal Prayer Books
There are many prayer books that are developed as guides for specific times of the year or liturgical seasons like Lent and Advent. These books can help you connect with God and build up the prayer habits that you hope to develop during these seasons.
Some of the best seasonal prayer book examples:
Daily Prayer Books
These prayer books aren’t tied to specific seasons, but they do provide daily guidance for reflection and prayers specific to the time of year or readings of the day. Even if you miss some of the days in the book, you can always fall back on these books for prayerful inspiration during your daily prayer routine.
Some of the best daily prayer book examples:
The Advantages of Using Prayer Books
Using books as a guide to prayer can help give us ideas for prayers and inspiration on days when we are struggling to find inspiration. The Holy Spirit can certainly work through these books to provide you with the inspiration you need the most each day. It also takes of the pressure of of finding prayers on your own on a daily basis.
Books can also be a nice reminder when you are trying to make prayer a habit. When I decide on a place where to pray, I always set a prayer book or two in that place to remind me of prayer. When I see the book, I am reminded of the need for prayer. If you find a good book, it can become a motivating factor all in itself.
But Shouldn’t We Pray Spontaneously from the Heart?
If prayers are only said or read, with no deeper reflection then prayer books can be a distraction. However, if pre-written prayers are used personally and used as the source of meditation, they can be excellent avenues to connecting with God. Not everyone feels comfortable praying spontaneously, especially at first, so prayer books can help fill an important need.