Fixed Hour Prayer
Prayer is vital. Conversing and communing with God. It is an absolute gift! To be in the very presence of God. And yet, many of us struggle to make it a steady fixture in our lives – and often when we do we’re very good and asking God for His help with our stuff; when really the best thing about prayer is how He changes us.
Fixed Hour Prayer is a really simple idea, practiced by the Church for millennia. Praying, even briefly, at set points every day, building our life around these simple rhythms of prayer.
Choose your set times
We live in a 24/7 world where increasingly people work in shifts and moving hours. So, as best you can set your ‘fixed times’ for prayer. e.g. 6.30am Morning Prayer, 12.30pm Lunch Prayer, 9.30pm evening prayer. Whatever works for you. You might pray 2 or 3 times a day (some traditions embraced 7 times a day!). But if you can only manage 1 time per day to start with, do that!
And ot say that choosing set hours to pray doesn’t mean to not pray at other times! Prayers asking for God’s help and intervention are not wrong, they are to be encouraged – but there is opportunity for other types of prayer too.
What to pray?
You may be comfortable doing your own thing. But here is an example of different kinds of prayer that you might embrace:
- The Lord’s Prayer
- Daily Examen (reflective)
- Prayer of gratitude
- The Lord’s Supper/Communion
- Lectio (Scripture)
Use different prayers as they are helpful. For example, if you choose a lunchtime prayer slot, but know you’ll be pressed on all sides at work, why not start with quietly and quickly praying the Lord’s Prayer? Or if in the morning you know the house is too noisy for silent prayer, why not start with gratitude – write down a couple of things to ground you in thanks and joy for the day ahead? There’s a world of prayer resources out there! We have a few at the bottom to this page that we hope may help.
If it helps, set daily alarms on your phone, or a device like Alexa. Mark them in your calendars. And then make yourself accountable – tell someone you want to do this and give them permission to check in with you. Forming new habits can be difficult – so outside help will encourage us to keep going!
If you miss the odd session, don’t panic. The temptation is to feel shame and give up – don’t, push through. Life happens, things come up – keep pressing into time with God.
Lectio 365 App
This app can give you reminders for morning and evening guided prayer. And it’s free!
There are lots of resources on YouTube and Google for this. But here are a few questions that might help:
- Did I see anyone through the eyes of Christ’s love today?
- Did I bring my anxious thoughtys before God in prayer today?
- Are there small things I need to give thanks for today?
- Is there any sin I must acknowledge and request God’s mercy for today?
Guided 5-minute silent prayer
In 2022 we gave some time to explore the spiritual practice of Silence. In this we prepared a simple 5-minute guided silent prayer – YouTube link is below, but you’ll also find it on our podcast.
The Lord's Prayer
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever.