Monday, July 23, 2007

Praying With the Church #4: Jesus and Sacred Rhythms

I’ve been dabbling with fixed hour prayer for about a week now and I’m really enjoying it and finding it helpful. I’ll get to that in a few posts (if I’m still sticking with it), but looking at Jesus’ prayer life is a helpful guide that might help us stick with fixed hour prayer. Jesus was a faithful Jew and would have prayed regularly – at least three times per day.

Being from less of a liturgical background, I was surprised at the clarity of fixed hour prayer in the OT (Ps. 55.17; Dan. 6.10) and it is historically how Jews pray. Jesus doesn’t criticize public prayer in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt. 6), but praying to be seen.

OK. I’ll talk about my experience a little bit because it fits so well with the rhythm of prayer. I don’t want to belabor it, and I’m not proud of it, but I’m not a great pray-er. It is work for me. I don’t gravitate to it naturally. But I am doing it more. Why? I think it is because three times a day I “touch base” with God in prayer. I’m lingering with God more at fixed hours, which makes me want to linger with Him at other times as well.

What is your day built around? Punching the clock at work? Meals? How about prayer?

1 comment:

Lee Jones said...

I personally find I need "sacred space," or room set aside for prayer. Also, I find I cannot pray meaningfully in short chunks -- I have to wait for it. It is work for me, too.