Is it a bit ironic that month 7, the month of rest, is the only month that I did not start on time? Not only did I not start it on time…I have ignored it for 6 weeks!!! But its not only about rest this month, its also really focusing on prayer. And like I’ve said in the past, I struggle a little with prayer. Today is Ash Wednesday though and it seemed so perfectly fitting to start my month today and continue it for 40 days instead of a month. So for lent, I am not giving up anything, because frankly I’ve spent the past 6 months giving up stuff!! Instead I’m focusing my time on prayer and rest.
I’m taking Jen Hatmaker’s lead in how she did this month and I’m going to be observing the canonical hours of prayer 7 times a day and each hour has a focus and scripture readings. They are as follows:
- The Night Watch (midnight) – advocates for those suffering in the night
- The Awakening Hour (dawn) – thankfulness for a new day
- The Blessing Hour (midmorning) – inviting the spirit to stir our souls and for God to bless what we are doing that day
- The Hour of Illumination (noon) – self-inspecting our hearts for sin and recommitting our lives
- The Wisdom Hour (midafternoon) – Acknowledging that all things are passing and prayer for wisdom to live like we are dying
- The Twilight Hour (early evening) – Invite God’s peace as we transition to evening and focus on gratitude for our day
- The Great Silence (bedtime…or more like 9 or so for me since bedtime is The Night Watch) – Reflecting on the day, confessing our sins, and asking for protection from evil
I will also be more intentional about observing the Sabbath (or Sunday- my Sabbath) and saying no to anything that will make our schedules more chaotic than is necessary.
When I first read about the 7 hours of prayer I sorta glossed over. I went from reading this super inspiring awesome book to thinking…..”boring”. I’m not sure why my heart was so not in it but today as I read back over it I’m super excited. My small group is also doing a study on prayer and it seems everywhere I turn God is shoving more information in my face about prayer. Yea, yea…I get it God. You actually WANT me to be intentional and talk to you! I’m starting a prayer journal and writing down my prayers and leaving a spot next to them so I can go back and write down when they get answered. I’m excited about that and seeing how our God does answer our prayers!
So here goes my last month of 7. I remember when I started it thinking I can’t imagine actually finishing it and when I do I’m sure I’ll want to burn the book. But now that its almost over I’m really sad! I could totally see myself doing it all over again!