Reviewed by Caz Pinder @scaryfastcaz
The book has been produced by The Episcopal Church in the United States and has also been published in England. The preface has been written by the former Bishop of Oxford, John Pritchard who is well known for his many books on prayer.
Various people have previously reviewed DPFAS, both positive and negative. Father Richard Peers, director of education for Liverpool gives an helpful insight into DPFAS – click here
Father Christopher Woods reviews DPFAS for the Church Times, and he has clearly enjoyed using the book – click here
Derek Olsen of St Bedes Publications writes, in my opinion, a very harsh and unhelpful review of the book because of its lack of liturgical pureness. Although Derek Olsen has some valid criticism, he lacks insight into how valuable and beneficial the DPFAS is to someone who is struggling to pray or to have a regular rhythm of prayer throughout the day – click here
The DPFAS is written in a style which is easy to understand. It uses inclusive and expansive language about God and its format makes it extremely easy to establish a daily rhythm of prayer. The book’s lay out creates an uncomplicated framework for devotional prayer and is centered around basic liturgical structures, which follow the seasons of the church calendar in a weekly and daily arrangement. It is a modern version of the ancient monastic practice of prayer, providing eight sets of short simple prayers and readings throughout the day. These are as follows:
• Lauds: Praise
• Prime: Discernment
• Terce: Wisdom
• Sext: Perseverance and Renewal
• None: Love
• Vespers: Forgiveness
• Compline: Trust
• Vigils: Watch
Olsen describes Lauds (Praise) as the most meager office offered – whilst it is short, Olsen is wrong in his description of meager. Especially if we take into consideration that before using the DPFAS, I offered no Lauds at all. And I suspect that would be the case for most lay people and in some instances even clergy.
What’s more beautiful and uplifting than saying: (taken from Lauds during Easter season)
As the morning approaches, I pray:
Risen Lord be my light, my life and my hope.
Come: enlighten my darkness and bring me life by your life. Amen
Our lives today are so hectic, and it is often difficult to find space in our busy lives for a rhythm of daily prayer. The DPFAS should therefore be seen as a graceful gift to us all. On a personal note, I loved this book from the moment I started to use the prayers. It’s a little gem which fits easily into your bag and can be used just about anywhere. The shortness of the prayers enables them to be said when there would otherwise possibly not be time. I use it in the car, in the garden or during a break in a meeting. It can provide stillness in the jostle of the morning and evening commute. Strength and hope during a day’s work and relaxation and healing at the end of a day, as we hopefully rest in Jesus.
The DPFAS is an invaluable source. A source that’s rich in poetry, meditation, and beautiful prayer. As individuals or groups grow in daily prayer, it’s easy to use in conjunction with other prayer books – such as Common Worship Daily Prayer or Daily Office SSF – allowing the routine of prayer to progress if so desired. Afterall, Jesus just wants us to spend time with him in prayer. Amen. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Grace and Peace