1. Never prefer anything to reading God’s Word, nor read it quickly because you wish to go to other things. (This would be disrespectful of it and of God.) If you feel yourself inclined to read faster than usual, force yourself to go back to what you have read.
2. Say some little prayer, before you begin reading, (such as the Collect for the Second Sunday in Advent), and try to recollect yourself, Whose book you are taking in hand, that they are God’s words to you, things which the Angels desire to look into, and about your own Eternal life.
3. In reading, read as if you were listening to God speaking to your soul: and use the Psalms when they are either prayer or praise, as your own prayer or praise to God, not as readingthe Psalms only.
4. Try to keep God in your thoughts through the day, recalling from time to time that you are in His Sight, wishing to receive things, pleasant or painful, as being from Him, to do things for Him. Even in such a little thing as taking medicine, pray when you take it that it may do you good: so as to the fresh air, you should receive it, as God’s gift refreshing you; when you say grace at your meals, you should try while taking them, to recollect that the food is His gift to you, and to take it from His Hands: and so as to sleep. So when anything happens, which you especially like, try to unite with your first feeling of joy, an act of thanksgiving to God for it. On the other hand, take anything unpleasant, as His doing, and so patiently, looking to Him. When you are engaged in your daily duties, try not only to do them well, but so as to please Him; in a word, try to put in practice, “I have set God always before me,” and then that other part will be fulfilled too, “He is on my right hand, therefore I shall not fall.”
5. Lift up your thoughts to God at intervals. The Hours will help you to this. You should try to use one first, as best suits; then when you find that you habitually recollect this, another; the prayers need not be long, only try to fix on your mind, what did make that sacred, as the Descent of the Holy Ghost at 9; the Crucifixion at 12; His Death at 3; so as not only to use a prayer then, but to meditate on your Lord and Saviour.
Then, also, the text which you select from your morning Psalms will also be a help, if you use it several times in the day thinking upon God, steadfastly for the time you use it. People use too short ejaculations, i.e. prayers which are, as it were, darted up to God, such of those in the Liturgy, “Lord, have mercy upon us,” or if you are under temptation, “O God, make speed to save me,” or in beginning any duty or work, “Lord help me,” only, however short it is, try to lift up your thoughts earnestly to your Blessed Saviour at God’s Right Hand.
6. Then during the times you are alone, try to meditate for a time upon God. Thus, when you are out of doors, you can generally see the blue sky, and you have heard many things of it connected with God:—how our Lord has ascended thither to prepare a place for us; how God’s mercy encompasses all his Works, as the sky does the earth: how holy Angels and the spirits of the just dwell there: how its purity is an emblem of God’s Holiness, or again, of the brightness of faith.
And so on, as to other things, everything may recall to you the things of God; the dust when driving, how the wicked are driven before the Presence of God; or as it lies, that we must all return to it; only do not let these be mere matters of amusement, but rather pray that you may not be cast out from that Holy Presence, that when you return to the dust, God will have mercy on your soul. So the sea may remind you how God stilleth its raging, and our Lord said, “Peace, be still,” and how He will so say to us in our troubles, if we pray Him.