I just finished reading "7: An Experimental Mutiny in Excess" by Jen Hatmaker (on a side note, I REALLY want to be her friend), and I highly recommend it. Briefly, every month (for 7 months), she fasts from something.
The last month was chapter of the book focused on fasting from Stress. Interestingly enough, the true focus of the fast is spending more time in prayer. She notes that she has never been a good pray-er, and I feel like I can relate. It's very hard for me to be still before the Lord. I either drift off, lose focus, or start thinking about all of the things that I should be doing. She talks about a book she read called Seven Sacred Pauses by Macrina Wiederkehr. I've recently added it as an alternate to my list of 52 books that I'm reading in 2014 (read previous post for more information).
Pauses are described as "breathing spells for the soul, an oasis to remember the sacredness of life". She uses these as a reminder to pause and pray seven times a day.
The Night Watch (midnight)
The Awakening Hour (dawn)
The Blessing House (mid-morning)
The Hour of Illumination (noon)
The Wisdom Hour (midafternoon)
The Twilight Hour (early evening)
The Great Silence (bedtime)
Each pause focuses on a specific thing, and there are scripture verses that correspond to them. I'm reading more about then and will be working to implement them in to my life; anybody care to join me? It's hard to pause, it's even harder to remember to pause. I'm thinking that maybe calendar reminders may be the best way. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
One of the places that I have always loved to go for prayer is a Catholic Church. I don't need any responses from those aghast at my heretical theology, it is just a quiet place. Sometimes I think we have lost too much of our reverence and I find I discover it again kneeling to pray in the quietness. Obviously this isn't realistic for all seven pauses, but I might try to work it in for at least one. That is more realistic to me as I have one right across the street from where I work -- so maybe that doesn't work for everyone.
As I learn more, I'll share. I just really like the idea of being purposeful about pausing and praying!