Friday, June 3, 2016

A Prayer Idea

As a person who teaches and writes about religious subjects and the Bible, I think about God a lot and pray off and on through the day. But my prayer life often lacks structure. I've devotional quarterlies for day's end reading, a good small prayer book called "Hour by Hour" with scriptures and prayers for morning, noon, evening, and compline, and also the helpful "Shorter Christian Prayer" from the complete "Liturgy of the Hours". Like many people, though, I get going with my day, have my mind on a variety of things, or am not "feelin' it" when it's a possible prayer time. Sometimes I realize that a couple weeks have gone by since I've read those quarterlies.

Muslims are of course famous for their five prayer times a day, which has always inspired me. In March, I visited a former classmate who is now a Benedictine nun living in community, and she said they pray six times a day. I sat in on their 2 PM service, which was lovely. It inspired a simple, perhaps foolish and very phone-centered idea which has nevertheless worked well and helped me be more disciplined. I set my phone's alarm to ring at 6 AM, 9 AM, noon, 3 PM, and 6 PM. The 6 AM gets me up (if I didn't get up at 5:30 already) and reminds me to pray. The other four times signal times to pause and pray. Bedtime is just bedtime, and I'm used to praying then.

But what to pray? I've email files that I can access on my phone and select a prayer. Here is a wonderful site called "100 Prayers": I also copied some favorite prayers from prayer books and put those on email messages that I can also access on my phone---as well as messages from the prayer chain to which I belong. 

All this has worked well and, more often than not, I'm startled during the day when the alarm rings because, sure enough, I was occupied with something and would've forgotten to pray at that hour if not reminded. 

I throw these ideas out in case they're helpful to someone who, like me, aspires to frequent prayer but has busy days, things going on, and good intentions. 

No comments:

Post a Comment