A Heart of Prayer: Book of Hours e-Course {Launch Post}

This is one of the most exciting announcements I have ever made.

The A Heart of Prayer: Book of Hours e-Course…. is…… LIVE!

Remember that time, less than two weeks ago, when I said it was still in production? Those were some of the longest workdays of my life! The preparation was manageable in theory, but then! Then I got to really test my mettle. My mother and oft-times spiritual director had to give me several pep talks. She’s the best at motivating people! (She is also a collaborator for this course. Everyone wave hello!)

I’m not going to lie. I’ve also been extremely happy doing the work; working this amazing dream. I got so happy with the routine of this part that it’s tempting to stop right here and bask in the joy of the effort. It’s tempting to keep producing art but always be in the not-quite-ready-to-share-it mode. I could hang out in that mode indefinitely. It’s a fairly comfortable place to be. The fantasy of future success looks quite pretty from far off. The future is where all the risk lives as well, most of the time.

Except today. The risk is here! The risk is now! And my breath is as short as these sentences. Whew!

I believe I’ve used my quota of drum-rolls this month already. So what’s a girl going to do?

I’m simply going to put it out there. See? Here it is all glossy and beautiful. Here is my dream, all wrapped up in a widget. How’s that for a line? Please, take a look. And while you celebrate with me, I’ll tell you a little more about it! (Please go and share it right now, then come back and finish reading. I’m just too excited! It’s okay. Go! Go! I’ll just make some tea and pretend I’m only a little bit giddy. Hold the sugar.)

Are you ready for some details?

A Heart of Prayer: Book of Hours e-Course will run from March 9th - April 4th, 2015. That’s right; we will conclude our class the day before Easter- an appropriate time of celebration after our period of reflection and devotion! That means for the rest of the Lenten season, you will have a guide to help you focus on spiritual development. The truly radical thing is that I didn’t plan it like this at first. I thought I’d be finished much sooner than now. (Then a whole lot of real life happened!) So I like to think that there was a plan, and I just got let in on the secret a good while later. However, I did tweak the end of the course to reflect the holiday events, because I believe the connection is worth it.

What's in this e-Course? And why should you take it?

Can we reverse those questions? Because I want to answer the second one first and the first one second.

There are many reasons to take it, not the least of which is a good opportunity to establish the habit of regular prayer. Even if you don’t go ‘round the clock as praying the hours suggests, you will have some cues to choose from in order to get started. I don’t know what things are like for you. But I do know this is a busy world full of hectic schedules and very little space to even breathe, let alone pray, unless we are intentional about it. This is your chance to be intentional- with accountability.

Additionally, you will have a small collection of written prayers created by you; straight from the heart, with loads of imagination, determination, soul-work, and joy. And it’s for keeps!

Fantastic! Now that we’ve covered a brief facet of the why, let’s get nitty gritty with the what.

Each week we will cover 2 lessons corresponding to 2 of the hours from the liturgy of the hours. You will learn about each of the hours- Vigils, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, Compline- and what they represent, and will be given 2 exercises corresponding to the hours which will prompt the writing of your prayers.

What you will receive:

  • Bonus introductory lesson with 1 exercise

  • 8 lessons on the Book of Hours prayers

  • 16 lesson exercises to prompt your prayers

  • 4 group video calls

  • Access to a secret Facebook group for class purposes

  • Guidance for practicing what you’ve learned from each lesson

Note: You will gain access to the Facebook group when you sign up, even if the course has not yet begun. Instructions will be given in the "Welcome" lesson which will be immediately available upon signing up.

Every lesson comes with complete instructions, and an invitation to make a note of questions you would like to address in group calls. Your lesson exercises will be delivered every weekday except Wednesday. On that day we will rest, and ponder a brief prayer or quote in the Facebook group. On Saturday afternoons (CST,) there will be a video call to talk about our progress, address any questions, and together seek understanding. Details for the calls will be posted in the Facebook group.

If this has made you insanely curious, I have good news. There are more details in the course description on the website hosting the A Heart of Prayer: Book of Hours e-Course. There is even a section for FAQs! And because I can never save all my gifts until Christmas, I’m giving away a free bonus prayer prompt on the Coursecraft site in order to share a taste of the goodness to come. You can find it on the sign-up page.

Thank you for understanding. Thanks for letting me bounce up and down and squeal like a 5th grader at a sleepover. Please, one final favor? I’m asking you to take a couple minutes to share this e-Course far and wide. You can copy/paste this URL  https://coursecraft.net/courses/z9Ppr  to send your friends directly to the enrollment page for this e-Course. You can share this post, too, if your friends are all about the details!

Help me get the word out? I would love for everyone I know and everyone you know to hear about it. Because I believe our souls are worth investing in. I believe in the power of prayer and peace, and it starts right here in our own homes. It starts right here in our own hearts. Let’s be a people who pray beauty, freedom, light, and peace into this world. You’ll join me, won’t you?

Jamie Bagley