Prokeimenon

A week or so ago I wrote a post called Pivot Prayers. It is one of my favorites and it is crucial to my walk in Christ. A tool to use to bring myself back from distraction.

When I am not happy, when I am being negative and sad, I am not focusing on the one thing needful. I need a tool, something physical, to draw me back.  The Pivot Prayers talked about in that post really do help me.

If you’ll remember I mentioned that Evagrius taught (back in the 4th century) to use verses from scripture to help us counter our bad thoughts. I love the Psalms and they are perfect for this.

In the Orthodox Church we use the Psalms in every single service in all manner of ways. We read full chapters in the Hours and Compline. We read them at the beginnings of Vespers and Matins. During Vespers and Divine Liturgy we sing parts of chapters or parts of verses before reading other scripture like the Old Testament or Epistles. These portions are called prokeimena.

All Psalms make great Pivot Prayers, but if you are familiar with these services and the hymnography of the prokeimena it is awesome to sing these as Pivot Prayers.

Even as a young child, well before I even knew what Orthodoxy was I loved to sing songs that were Psalms. You don’t have to be Orthodox to sing the Psalms. All Christian faiths have songs set to the Psalms. And honestly, you can add your own little melody to just about anything. Singing is one of my favorite ways to kindle joy in my daily life. It really helps to pull me back to focus on Christ. How about you?

Periodically I’ll share one of the prokeimenon from Vespers or Liturgy with you either here or on my Instagram account @kindlerofjoy.

Would you like a Pivot Prayer to print and hang up as your way to draw back to Christ? Check out my Printables Page.

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