|Pierce Stocking Drive, Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan|
Every Tuesday afternoon for the past 35 years I have gone to a quiet place alone and prayed. Sometimes for 2 hours, sometimes as long as 6 hours. I pray at other times, but Tuesday afternoons have been my times with God.
Most Jesus-followers who have serious prayer lives have scheduled prayer into their life-rhythm. Henri Nouwen writes:
"Clock time can become sacred time. We can choose fifteen minutes, half an hour, or even a few hours, and set them aside for God. For a healthy physical, emotional, and spiritual life, we have to structure our time. We need to know beforehand when we will pray, when we will spend moments in spiritual reading, when we will participate in common worship , and so on. A rhythm of life in which sacred times and places are scheduled in gives us much spiritual support and causes us to look forward to them as “times of refreshing” for discernment."
- Nouwen, Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life, pp. 12-13
What began 35 years ago as a small stream has formed a neural river flowing from the throne of God. The river groove runs so deep that I cannot not-pray any longer. This is good. It has turned into (as I understand this) "praying without ceasing."
I always look forward to these extended, scheduled prayer times. They have become times of refreshing and discerning.
Write "Praying Time" into your calendar.