Praying an Hour a Day During Lent–Difficult but Doable | The Practical Disciple

Praying an Hour a Day During Lent–Difficult but Doable

I love Lent and always try to take on a commitment that is going to have a transformative effect on me. This year I adopted praying one hour a day. This one hour at first was excruciatingly difficult to carve out. I have 2 kids, a spouse, a job, and volunteer a lot of hours. I am finding out though how to do it. For those of you interested in doing an hour a day or just expanding your prayer here are some lessons I have learned thus far:
1) Break it up. I pray a half hour early in the day. And then a half hour in the evening after everyone has gone to bed.
2) Have a plan and/or guide. For the first half hour I use a historic resource, the Book of Common Prayer. Basically, the morning prayer rite in that resource is a mini-worship service. It includes prayers, scriptures to reflect on, music, and more. The bottom line it gives me an orderly, concrete way to spend the half hour and this really helps me stay focused. My thoughts tend to leap about like drunken monkeys in my head, but having an order seems to pacify the monkeys or at least hold them at bay. The second half hour I spend in roughly 10 minutes of free prayer and 20 minutes of silently sitting before God in centering prayer. Centering prayer is an old monastic tradition.
3) Withdraw if necessary. Let’s face it–staying focused is hard enough without the phone ringing, kid’s yelling or the television blabbing in the background. Found a spot you can go to when your home is not an option. I pray at home in down times when either everyone is gone or asleep. For those times when I can’t I drive a few minutes to a hospital nearby and use it’s chapel. The cool thing about the chapel is that it’s open 24/7 since it is in a hospital. Virtually noone ever comes in. I also have a sit spot in nature I go to to get away. Where can you go and not be interrupted.
4) Make it the priority. Two weeks into this exprayeriment I started to journal about the need to make prayer a higher priority. I stopped though because I had this epiphany that for me to be faithful to this for 40 days, it had to not be a priority competing with other but the priority. So, now it has become my highest priority and everything else must follow. This shift in attitude has really helped.
5) Never make an exception. No matter how tired I am, sick I feel, late it is, or whatever other lame rationalization I can cook up to avoid it, I spend my hour with God anyways.
Check out my next post to find out how spending an hour a day in prayer is effecting me.

About This Author

Post A Reply