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Daily Prayer: Praying the Hours

 Some will choose to add the daily reading of one of the 31 Chapters of the book of Proverbs once each month, one chapter per day.

 With Young Children in your Family:

  Those using this for family Prayer with young children may prefer to use a Children’s Bible for the scripture readings, particularly for the Old Testament. _____________________________

Daniel Was Thrown Into the Den of Lions Because He Was Faithful In Prayer

“Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.”

-Daniel 6:10 _____________________________

“Let my prayer be set forth as incense before thee; The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.”  -Psalm 141:2

“And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.”  -Revelation 8:4

     You may decide to observe the entire prayers and reading, but may have only a short 1/2 hour lunch-time.  In that case you might want to pray only Psalm 23 (which you will soon have memorized) on those difficult work-days.  

The other Psalms and Scripture Readings can then be added unto either your Morning Prayer or Evening Prayer.

        When reading psalms, alternate verses can be read by different people (if you are practicing family worship).  This is the traditional monastic way (we have men and women alternate reading verses). _____________________________

     The custom of reciting prayers at certain hours of the day or night goes back to the Jewish people of Old Testament times, from whom Christians have borrowed it.  In the Psalms we find expressions like: 

      The Apostles observed the Jewish customary times of prayer (see: Matthew 15:36; Luke 18:10; Acts 2:15; 3:1; 10:3,9; 10:30;  16:25; 27:35).  

The Christian prayer of that time consisted of almost the same elements as the Jewish: recital or chanting of psalms, and the reading of the Old Testament, to which was soon added the reading of the Gospels, Acts, and Epistles, and at times the singing of canticles (songs), composed or improvised. _____________________________

     The Old Testament is read through only once every two years, so there will be two chapter readings given each time for the Old Testament Reading.  One is for use in years ending in an odd number and one for use in years ending in an even number.  

      Read only the chapter that is applicable for the year that you are then in, depending on whether it has an odd or even ending number.  (Note: Some calendar dates later in the year do not have “Even Years” Readings). _____________________________ 




Daily Prayer: Praying the Hours

“Glaodh àrd, is urnuigh ni mi ris, moch, feasgar, s meadhon-là,
Is eisdidh e gu grad ri m ghlaodh.”
-Psalm 55:17 in Gaelic

“Evening, and morning, and at noon will I pray, and cry aloud;
and he shall hear my voice.”
-Psalm 55:17

ACTS:  Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication.


“The Threefold Daily Prayers”      Psalms to Pray & 



The Rule:

Also known as the: Daily Office; Liturgy of the Hours; Hours of Prayer; Common Prayer; “Ordo”.

Includes Daily Bible Reading Guide to:

Read through the entire New Testament (and Proverbs) once each year, and read through the entire Old Testament once every two years.  

(Also includes Praying through all 150 Psalms once each month: five per day).               ______________

“Links” to additional information including Historical Background and Practice of the Early Church:

Christianity Today Magazine:

  • Daily Office: “Learning the Ancient Rhythms of Prayer”

  • “The Rise and Fall of the Daily Office”

  • Making the Sign of the Cross: “The Shape of Faith”

By Ken Collins:

  • “Shall We Sit, Stand, or Kneel to Pray?” The five traditional postures for prayer.

  • “Does it Matter Whether We Sit, Stand, or Kneel to Pray?”

  • “Why and When Did Christians Start Constructing Special Buildings for Worship?

  • Ken Collins’ Web Site (Includes: Church Calendar/ Vestments /Denominational Practices/Early Church History & Practice).


See Also:


Have you received Christ as your Lord and Saviour?

Find out how to do so at our page: 

Plan of Salvation ______________ 

Tell others about Jesus like Monk Preston and Monk Linda do:

Though not all Christians are called to Found a Christian Ministry, we are all called by God to share our faith (witness) with those who are not Christians.  Some Bible verses that you will find helpful for doing this, and that you may want to commit to memory are found on other pages on our  web site (see: Memory Verses; 2nd Set: Salvation!, Plan of Salvation, and Statement of Faith).  ______________

Celtic Pages

The three daily special times of prayer observance recorded in the Bible (in both the Old and New Testaments) were at: 9 A.M., 12:00 P.M. (Noon), and 3 P.M.  

They were not a part of the Law of Moses, and nowhere in the Bible is their observance required.  They were observed by the Apostles in the New Testament (see Scripture references elsewhere on this page) and by the early Church.  

With the freedom which we have in Christ, these times may be easily modified or adjusted to fit your current daily schedule. 

  You can observe just “The Basics” of “The Threefold Daily Prayers,” “Hours”: or “Times” of prayer. 

“The Basics”

Psalm 117 is only two verses long.  These can be memorized and then prayed daily anywhere.  Your own personal prayers can be added if desired, and also part or all of the Daily Psalms and Scripture Readings found on the “Links” Chart (shown at the right). _____________________________

If you follow this entire schedule you will:

  • Pray through all 150 Psalms once each month.
  • Read through the entire New Testament (and Proverbs) once each year.
  • Read through the entire Old Testament once every two years.

This “Daily Prayer: Praying the Hours” is truly Interdenominational, Consisting Only of Holy Scripture.

 This “Daily Prayer: Praying the Hours” was compiled by S. G. Preston (Monk Preston) for use by The Prayer Foundation and our Knights of Prayer Monastic Order.  

It is truly Interdenominational in scope, consisting only of Holy Scripture, and including the complete and entire Old and New Testaments, with no additional commentary whatsoever.  

It is intended for use by Christians of all Denominational affiliations.  

Indeed, by its very nature, it is entirely suitable for use by any and all Christians of any background whatsoever.


In the Book of Acts, We See the Apostles Observing the Traditional Hours of Prayer

     It follows the example of the Apostles as shown in the Bible, and what is known of early Christian prayer (which at the time of the events in the Book of Acts, was the same as traditional Jewish prayer).  In the Book of Acts, we see the Apostles observing the traditional Hours of Prayer of Judaism, even going to the Temple to observe them (see: “A Brief History of Praying the Hours” below on this page).

Daily Prayer Office

     We observe Three Daily Times of Prayer, at which we pray Psalms to God, and read Chapters from the Holy Scriptures.

     If you would like to do this also, click on the current date on the Chart at the right  which will show you which Scriptures to read and Psalms to pray for that day. 

You May Also Want to Sing Some Psalms and Hymns or Other Christian Songs in Praise to the Lord

     When having our Worship Service in our Monastery Chapel, we may add to what is shown on the schedule: the singing of Psalms, Hymns, times of both silent and group extemporaneous prayer, and observance of Holy Communion.  

     You may want to add some or all of these things to one or more of your own services.  For instance, if your observance of Evening Prayer is a family service, you may also want to sing some Psalms and Hymns or other Christian songs in praise to the Lord.

     Besides these set hours of prayer, we also individually have other times set aside for Personal Prayer and Bible Reading/Study, and indeed, try to pray to the Lord all throughout the day as it is brought to mind do so. 

For example—upon awaking and arising the Monks here begin the day by individually praying St. Patrick’s Breastplate.  

Some also have chosen to additionally pray Psalm 5 and read the Chapter of the Book of Proverbs that corresponds with the current day of the month. 

The Book of Proverbs has 31 Chapters.  If a month has 30 days they will just read 2 Chapters on the last day of the month.  

Before retiring, we end the day by praying Lord, Make Me An Instrument of Thy Peace

Some also have chosen to additionally pray Psalm 4.

After getting ready for the day, an hour of personal prayer follows (see: One Daily Hour of Prayer) before going to our regular employment—the Monks here are all required to support themselves—no one from the President and Board of Directors receives any compensation for their volunteer work for The Prayer Foundation .

Begin by Observing Just “The Basics” of each Prayer-time: Morning: The Lord’s Prayer; Noon: Psalm 23; Evening: Psalm 117 

     You may want to begin by observing just one of the Hours of Prayer each day, as an experiment in practicing a new (to you) spiritual discipline.

     Another way to begin is by observing just “the basics” of each Prayer-time: Morning: The Lord’s Prayer; Noon: The 23rd Psalm; Evening: Psalm 117.

     A third option would be to begin by praying the prayers (including the Psalms), but leave off the Scripture Readings for right now.  

Memorize the Lord’s Prayer, Psalm 23, and Psalm 117 (Two Verses), and You Can Easily Observe These Three Daily Times of Prayer No Matter What You May Be Required to Be Doing At the Time.

    Start off by doing just these, and you have an instant, easily practiced lifelong habit of a spiritual discipline that brings you to the Lord in prayer throughout your day!  

    Memorize the Lord’s Prayer, Psalm 23, and Psalm 117 (two verses), and you can easily observe these three daily times of prayer no matter what you may be required to be doing at the time.  We recommend memorizing them in any case.  You will find this to be a great blessing to you.   _____________________________

Listening to the Scripture Readings on CD, MP3, or Cassette

     Those of you who are not “readers” may find it easier to listen to the Old and New Testament Scripture readings (especially the Old Testament) on CD, MP3, or Cassette.            _____________________________

These Three “Hours” (or “Times”) of Prayer Do Not Have to be Observed at Any Particular Specific Time

     With the freedom we have in Christ, these three “Hours” (or “times”) of Prayer do not have to be observed at any particular specific time (or even at all!).  

     The traditional times of observance were: 9 A.M., 12:00 P.M. (Noon), and 3 P.M.  Some may have their “Noon” (think Mid-day) prayers at 11:00 A.M.  

     Some may prefer observing Evening Prayer after they return from work at 4:00 P.M., or much later.  Others may want to have it just before retiring to sleep for the night.  

     It may be more convenient for you to observe your Evening Prayer at different times on different days.

     Don’t try to “make up” the next day any Psalms (or Proverbs, if you have chosen to include them) that you may have missed the day before.  Remember, the Psalms (and the Book of Proverbs) start over again each month (some may, however,  want to catch up on the Bible Chapter readings when they have more time — this is easily done with an AudioBook Bible on CDs). _____________________________   

Related Pages:


Daily Scripture Reading Chart:

     Find Today’s Date on the Chart above.  You can print out the page, which will give you a handy guide to seven or more days of Psalms to Pray and Chapters of Scripture to read. (Complete Bible Texts: many Versions).

  Listen to Bible Chapters (Audio: Various English Versions, Spanish, German, Slovak, Farsi, and some Arabic) 

Other Options:

Another option (especially for those who are not “readers”) would be to listen to the Old Testament on CDs when convenient.

Some may prefer to do this with both the Old Testament and also even with the New Testament on CDs.  

Some of us go through the entire Old Testament once each year, and the New Testament several times a year this way.

Only do as little or as much each day as is a joy and not a burden.  The operative Scripture here is:

“Delight thyself also in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” -Psalm 37:4

The ultimate desire of our hearts is of course simply to “Draw near to God…”  To rest in His love.  To have more of Christ.


Even More Options:

Our Daily Personal 60 Min. Hour of Prayer / Praying the Psalms:

Prayers Upon Rising & Before Retiring:

Additional Historical Hours/Times of Prayer:

Use of Daily Devotionals:

You can also Add (or Substitute) one page a day from your favorite Devotional.  The two most popular and best-selling Daily Devotionals of all time (after the Bible itself) are:


The Mosaic law did not regulate the offering of prayer, but fully recognized its spontaneous character. 

In what manner or how far back in Jewish history the sacrificial prayer, mentioned in Luke 1:10, originated no one knows.  

In the days of Christ it had evidently become an institution. 

But ages before that, stated hours of prayer were known and religiously observed by all devout Jews. 

It evidently belonged to the evolutionary process of Jewish worship, in connection with the temple-ritual. 

Devout Jews, living at Jerusalem, went to the temple to pray (Luke 18:10; Acts 3:1). 

The pious Jews of the Diaspora opened their windows “toward Jerusalem” and prayed “toward” the place of God’s presence (I Kings 8:48; Daniel 6:10; Psalm 5:7). 

The regular hours of prayer, as we may infer from Psalm 55:17 and Daniel 6:10, were three in number. The first coincided with the morning sacrifice, at the 3rd hour of the morning, at 9 A.M. therefore (Acts 2:15). 

The second was at the 6th hour, or at Noon, and may have coincided with the thanksgiving for the chief meal of the day, a religious custom apparently universally observed (Matthew 15:36; Acts 27:35). 

The 3rd hour of prayer coincided with the evening sacrifice, at the ninth hour (3:00 P.M.: Acts 3:1; 10:30). 

Thus every day, as belonging to God, was religiously subdivided, and regular seasons of prayer were assigned to the devout believer. 

Its influence on the development of the religious spirit must have been incalculable, and it undoubtedly is, at least in part, the solution of the riddle of the preservation of the Jewish faith in the cruel centuries of its bitter persecution.

Mohammedanism borrowed this feature of worship from the Jews and early Christians, and made it one of the chief pillars of its faith.

Henry E. Dosker

Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. 

“Entry for ‘HOURS OF PRAYER'”. 

“International Standard Bible Encyclopedia”. 


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