For the first time, I need to portray someone who was a follower of Oberlin theology. I've been reading up on the theology itself, but what I can't find are whether there were any charactistic ways of saying a prayer, such as a typical opening or ending, or a typical posture (arms folded, hands clasped, etc.) I'm picturing needing to say grace before meals, a prayer asking guidance before a big undertaking, prayer before going to bed, etc.
I was hoping to find an image of Rev. Finney in prayer, but no luck. I found a chapter on prayer by Asa Mahan, who would have been president of the college when I attended in the 1840s, but no details: http://books.google.com/books?id=c18wAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA244&output=html
"... prayer is required: but no particular form, posture or seasons when the duty is to be performed, are prescribed."
He does say it should be "morning and evening, at our meals, at the beginning and close of public worship, and when engaging in new and important enterprises," so it sounds like I'm on the right track.
He gives some examples (p. 235) but I don't think these are meant to be recited by rote, but maybe they were common Oberlin catch phrases? I don't know. For example, thanksgiving: "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits."
So... any idea on what typical Oberlin-style daily prayers might be like in the 1860s, both in posture and in any standard opening or closing phrases? There might truly be no particular characteristics, and each person could do it however they wished, but often religions do have unwritten rules or typical ways emerge.