I preached a sermon on Sunday from Paul’s letter to the Philippians entitled “Who’s The Subject of Your Story?” and The Blackburn House has certainly been trying to reflect on this question this week in terms of our prayer lives.
It was Paul who also encourages us in his letter to the Thessalonians to “pray without ceasing.” Most of us presume that Paul must be exercising hyperbole here. How could you possibly cease from praying? And so we conclude that Paul must’ve meant something like pray often or pray regularly or to simply keep prayer as central to one’s life. But what if Paul actually did mean exactly what he says here: do not cease to pray! Seems like an impossible task for any person, huh? What could you possibly pray about at every moment of the day? Most of us have just enough words for our spouse, or our children, or our employers in any given day. To think that we need a word bank enough to talk to God all day long seems unrealistic. And it is … on our own, at least.
The significance of liturgy and Scripture is that we have the words of the saints and the bible to increase our economy of words so that we can truly pray without ceasing. Of course, the challenge of praying continually is not just a matter of words, but commitment, atmosphere, attitude and several other challenges. The beauty of community is that no one person has to face the challenges alone. And so in The Blackburn House we are leaning on the saints, the bible and each other to maintain a lifestyle of prayer, of praying without ceasing. We’ve also added some additional fixed prayer times throughout each day. We’ve always had our 8:30am prayer time each day. We’ve added prayer at 1pm and 8:30pm. In the middle of our routines and work, the mundane of everyday life, we hope to pause and pray. The picture above captures this perfectly!
Why don’t you join us? Here are some of the tools we’re leaning on to help us in our prayer journeys:
The Jesus Prayer:
The Examen Prayer: