Pray through the day

http://www.gracesussex.com/2013/07/morning-prayer.htmlhttp://www.gracesussex.com/2013/07/midday-prayer.htmlhttp://www.gracesussex.com/2013/07/night-time-prayer.htmlPraying is hard. It is especially hard in our hyper-busy society. It is hard to find time, to find energy, and to find the words.

It seems that believers in Bible times found it a help to set aside certain times throughout the day to come before the Lord in prayer. King David speaks of praising God "seven times a day" (Ps 119v164), and praying "morning, noon and night" (Ps 55v17). Daniel knelt at his window to give thanks "three times a day" (Dan 6v10), and it was when Peter went to his prayers at "noon" that he received his vision (Acts 10v9).

It is for this reason that the church has historically set aside certain times each day for Bible reading and prayer. The four key times are early in morning, at midday, in the evening and at night-time. (These have been titled Matins, Sext, Vespers and Compline.)

Sadly, the forms in which these prayer times have been kept within historic denominations can be rote, rushed or even pompous, meaning that many desiring a simple heart-relationship with the Lord have shied away from them. And the danger of saying prayers in these ways should caution us in using any set form. However, the biblical pattern noted above encourages us that there is still a place for the idea of setting aside times to pray. Moreover, when the Christian is tired, low and struggling to pray spontaneously, being led through a prayer time can be refreshing and helpful.

The links above then, are forms to stimulate prayer that I have used for years when struggling to get going. Predominantly they contain brief Bible passages I have carefully chosen as a way of processing the particular time of day in prayer. But they also contain a few of the most significant prayers and Bible songs that have been said by believers across the centuries. Out of respect for God's work throughout history, I personally feel these shouldn't be lost to those of us who have less appreciation for set prayers.

You can read the text through yourself, pausing between items to ensure that you are engaging your heart and mind in the Spirit and taking time to spontaneously pray further as he moves you. Or you can listen to the audio files in which I will lead you in a way that gives time for these things. Running straight through, each lasts just 3-6 minutes. You could listen at home, in the office or cafe, on the train, in the car, or as you walk. Wherever you are, I hope they will help you re-focus even if you have little time.

If this isn't actually your sort of thing, no problem. But why not try and set aside some time anyway, however briefly, morning, noon, evening and before bed, to pray to your Father in heaven.

Happy praying!