I have been reading a book that I want to recommend to all of you. It’s called Seven Sacred Pauses: Living Mindfully Through the Hours of the Day, and the idea of it is that we should take these seven opportunities during the day to pause, reflect, and pray. I have just started implementing it in my own life and it is a beautiful thing to see the way the Lord uses this time to help me refocus and breathe.

It’s divided up into seven different times of day, where they encourage you to set some kind of alarm clock to remind you that it’s time to pause whatever life has you doing at that moment. So far it’s normally when I’m homeschooling, getting the kids dressed, or fixing dinner, which are all good times to remind ourselves of the blessings that we each have everyday and to really allow that time to refill us in the Lord and draw our attention to He who is guiding our day.

Each time is geared toward a unique focus. For example, the “pre-dawn” prayer {or the midnight prayer, which is the one I’m awake for!} is for praying “the night watch” over yourself and others. It is a time of praying and waiting, and is often referred to as a vigil. For me, when the house is quiet and I have the mental capacity to soak up the quiet night, I have amazing times of communion, bringing my prayers for others before the Lord.

Each subsequent prayer time is structured in a similar way, and it has been such a life-giving exercise for me. They have suggested psalms for that hour, readings and other quotations that are intended to focus your prayer on those particular things. I haven’t gotten perfect about remembering each of them, but it has been wonderful. The way my brain works, it often helps to have a tangible system for being in constant communion, as I am so easily distracted by life.

Whether or not you have a book as your guide, I see and value the notion that pausing regularly throughout our days will refresh us, allow us to refocus, and be reminded of the amazing privilege we have in being able to approach the Lord with our petitions and praises.

I would love for you all to jump in and share the ways that you are (successfully or imperfectly!) trying to implement consistent prayer in your day, and I know how much everyone will love reading your thoughts. Would you take a moment and share with us?

Be blessed today, friends…and full of prayer and adoration for the One who calls us to His side.

With love,

Angie

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  1. 1
    Ana Smith says:

    love this idea

  2. 2

    Thank you so much for this wonderful reminder Angie. Blessings!

  3. 3

    I have practice this in the past but let it slip. thanks for the great reminder. I have installed a computer widget that I can set to quietly ding periodically to remind me to stop and pray. I find that helps too.

  4. 6

    I read this book and loved it. The writing was perfect for me at that time. I began reading during my last pregnancy–the doctor had told me I need to have 15 minutes of quiet everyday. With 4 kids under 5 that was tricky. I gave the book to a woman who I thought might actually be able to use it.

  5. 7

    I love the idea of sacred pauses. I’ve never heard of the book, but I may have to get my hands on that one. :)

  6. 8

    The pauses, or set apart moments we can spend alone with the Lord throughout each day, have been the times that have genuinely deepened my relationship with Him, and I think is what has most assured me of His constant never failing love for me in day to day life.

  7. 9

    Thanks for sharing- sounds like a must read. One of the things that has helped me in my prayer life is to have specific things that remind me to pray for someone or something. Just one example- dear friends of ours are preparing to be missionaries in Africa. The wife helped me to make a quilt, so every time I look at the quilt, I am reminded to pray for their family. I love the idea of sacred pauses- being intentional with our prayers- but I have also learned the sweetness of constant communication with my Lord. Everything we see or do should remind us to be in communion with Him.
    Thanks again- love this!

  8. 10

    My commute has become my prayer time & I love my car as my mobile prayer closet. I know that no one else can hear me and it’s a great time and space to talk with God as I drive over Lake Pontchartrain.

  9. 11

    I have a copy of the Divine Hours which is a similar concept of the ancient tradition of pausing to commune at particular times of the day. At this stage of life with little ones always in need, I have found it more than just a little difficult to get away to a quiet place :) , but I think if I could listen for a clock to chime or beep at particular times of the day, these Seven Pauses you shared, I could take even just a minute to refocus and my day would be the better for it. Thanks for passing this along.

  10. 12
    Melissa says:

    Just yesterday I taped a Post-it note to my computer with the abbreviated version of the serenity prayer. So far, it has reminded me to stop and pray before I begin any work. Working with children, it is important for me to pray continuously! I also pray during our “moment of silence,” which is a great way for me to invite the Lord into my classroom. I find that when I do not pray throughout my day, I lose focus on the fruits of the spirit, and instead slip into impatience and unkindness.

    Thanks for the great tip…I’d love to find a way to remind myself to pray throughout the day!
    Melissa

  11. 13

    I think I need to get this book. I just read “7″ by Jen Hatmaker and she talks about it at length, too! I definitely need those reminders because I get so caught up in daily life that I tend to lose focus when I should be focusing everything on the Lord. Thanks for this second reminder, Angie. I think the Lord is trying to tell me something here! :)

  12. 14

    Angie, do you ever have that “I wish I had thought of that?” moment? Well, I did when I discovered http://www.meaningtopause.com. This is a small (soon to be large, I think) two-woman owned business and they have created amazing bracelets that you set to gently vibrate every 90 or 60 minutes (you choose). Bracelets are on sale now. I discovered them serendipitously through a comment on a website I frequent. I am glad I did. Haven’t received my bracelets yet, but have good feelings about them. Brain research is providing increasing amounts of data about the value of mindfulness for both physical and mental health. I incorporate mindfulness in my practice as a counselor. I don’t think is for nothing that God said, “Be STILL and know that I am God.” :)

  13. 15

    I have a “Prayer Time” pop up on my work computer at 10:00 every morning. I get up, leave my desk for a few minutes, read my prayer book or just reflect.

  14. 16
    Beth WIlliams says:

    Thank you for the reminder. I know it will help me to refocus my day & my life if I would just get up and pray–about anything. Most importanly if I focus my prayers on others & their problems it will help me realize how blessed I am and make my day a little better!

    Great post Angie!

  15. 17

    Now that I am retired from 35 years of teaching, I spend quite a bit of time during the day on the computer (emails, Facebooking family, friends, former students and parents). I call it my “New Ministry” where I can now share God’s blessings in a way I couldn’t do “legally” while teaching. So, when I turn on my computer each morning, a picture of my family comes on the screen. It is my “signal” to stop before doing anything else and pray for each of them and others who have been on my heart and mind. Then I start my “New Ministy” online for the day. I cannot begin to tell you the blessings I have received as I communicate through this new method of technology! And I never say “Amen” at the end of my prayers, because I know that in a short time I will be calling on the Lord again throughout the day!

  16. 18

    I love this idea. I pray when I first wake up and when I go to bed, but lately I’ve been trying to be mindful about praying whenever I have a moment during the day to slow down or when I read something that needs prayer (friend’s blog post, news article, etc…)

    • 19

      That’s exactly what I do, Amy! I just got back from a weekend in Ohio where I got to meet one of my FB friends I had never met before…all because a mutual friend of ours posted a prayer request two years ago and I responded. Marne, my FB friend, had lost her husband in a car accident and was going to be raising two small girls on her own. We conversed thru her CarePages blog, then thru FB and then thru emails. I live in KS and she lives in NC, so the chances of us meeting seemed slim, but because she posted on FB she was going to share her tesitmony at a friend’s church in Ohio, I was able to go meet her and attend the services where she shared her testimony this past Sunday. I have a sister who lives in Ohio only a few hours from where Marne was going to share, so I got on a plane and we drove down, surprised Marne Saturday night thanks to the Pastor of the church where she was going to share!!!! Absolutely a BLESSED weekend for us all!

  17. 21

    I’m using My 100 Day Prayer book right now. I, like you, need a little structure of my prayers just get forgotten during busy days. The idea of the 100 Day Prayer is to choose one thing to prayer over continuously for 100 days. The books is like a daily prayer devotional that prompts me to prayer over the single subject in different ways. My focus for 100 Days is Healthy Relationships.

  18. 22

    I’m going to have to get this book! It sounds like a great way to order my day better. In the past year, I’ve used my time driving to my morning workout as my prayer time. Before I began doing this, I prayed sporadically. Now, I consistently pray for each family member as well as needs that are weighing on my heart. Although, drivers around me may think I’m crazy talking to myself, this habit works for me!!

  19. 23

    I remembered when I read this post that I had started this book a while back and then put it down being distracted by something else. So when I opened it to where I had previously stopped ( the mid-morning pause), I knew God had lovingly guided me back to something I truly needed. One of the prayers for that section said: “Take my scattered thoughts, my fragmented moments. Breathe into them and draw them into your centered heart.” This is such a struggle for me right now and as I read these words I was reminded again that God is right there beside me waiting for me to come back to Him. What a wonderful blessing!

  20. 24

    It was (usually) easy to see God in the children and work at daycare, in the work of the home and being wife and mother, and in garden work; what I was challenged by most was if that beeper goes off because I thought, “What if that keeps going off while I’m around this difficult situation that requires forgiveness and God’s blessing on it?
    Then I am called to leave that with God for his judgement/mercy/restoration and not take on an attitude of being in that moment of pain/hurt but instead in God’s grace and to be in prayer in that moment…. awesome challenge.

  21. 25

    Thank you for sharing! I think as moms, we need more quiet/prayer time to help get us through the day!

  22. 26

    … reminded me I leave God out of parts of my day/life as I avoid facing “even this, O Lord?” … thx!

  23. 27

    For me, it helps to have ‘cues’ throughout my day to pause and refocus. That first moment when waking, handing the day over. Dropping the children off at school, prayer as they enter a world I can’t control.

    I like to make my rituals prayer times:
    Washing my face, prayer for cleansing
    Folding clothes, covering and protection for my children
    Cleaning Kitchen, gratefulness for provision
    etc., etc., etc.,

    Thank you for sharing!

  24. 28
    Sharon E says:

    A number of years ago I read a novel, The Book of Hours, by Davis Bunn. It included a description of a tradition started years ago. The church compiled a prayer book, that included prayers for each hour of the day. The church chimes rang out on the hour to remind their members to stop and say a prayer. The novel has remained one of my favorite and the practice of praying with the chimes has been a blessing to me.

  25. 29

    I’m learning this, every so slowly, here, and circling around it again: that I need these rhythms to stop and soak in the grace that I rush past in my busyness and distraction. Thanks for this today – so timely.

  26. 30

    Just ordered the book for my Kindle. Annie (see her comment above) said it well – rhythms to stop and soak in the grace that is there. I don’t want to miss it.

  27. 31

    I pray every morning in the shower before I get ready for work.

    Its the perfect time for me to focus on thanks for the safety the night before and the prayers to help me and my family through the upcoming hectic day.

    Between working full-time, being a wife, a 6-month-pregnant “incubator”, and a toddler’s mommy…that shower time is precious for me & God!

  28. 32

    When my anxieties flare up and and I start to feel overwhelmed (which sometimes is more frequent than others), I’ve started being intentional about stopping the spiral of chaos in my mind and drawing on God’s Grace in that moment. Either through a recalling a verse of Scripture or simply praying something as simple as the phrase, “God, I choose to draw on Your Grace in this moment.” While not an intentional scheduled type of prayer, it has helped to ground me in moments that I could become either self-reliant or despairing.
    BTW, I’m reading another book by the same author, Abide. So, so good.

  29. 33

    I am also easily distracted, Angie, and have had difficulty designating an effective prayer time. Too often I find myself finally praying as I am falling asleep at night. I like the idea of designated moments to pray scattered throughout the day. Perhaps setting my cell phone alarm will remind me. Thanks for the encouragement to incorporate “sacred pauses”–what a beautiful word picture!

  30. 34

    I needed to read this. I have 4 kids and life is crazy and chaotic and I found myself repeating myself and getting louder and louder. Mid-shriek I realized I had become the mom who hollers. I was never going to be “that mom.” I’ve made it a priority since then to go quieter when there’s trouble or I’m frustrated. It is a lot of work and energy to not freak out, but I’m seeing improvements in my kids and in myself. I’m getting the quiet part down, now I need to implement more purposeful prayer throughout the day. Thanks for sharing, I’m going to check my library for books by this Author!

  31. 35

    Just today I made myself a little “prayer corner” in my living room – with a candle, a Bible, and some prayer books! While my little one napped and my older two played quietly, I took 15 min. just to pray. It was lovely!

    I’ve also been trying to – as Ann Voskamp recently wrote – make “hard stops” at 9, noon, and 3: I stop whatever I’m doing and just take a minute to praise Him, thank Him, and pray. I’ve also been trying to pray with my kids more, so after breakfast we all pile on the couch and each one of us prays before reading a Bible story. It’s really helped me to be more peaceful and focused – I’m loving it!

  32. 36

    I love the idea of setting the clock to give thanks!

  33. 37

    Love love love this! I’m going to put lots if reminders in my Outlook calendar at work.

  34. 38
    Kimberley says:

    I’m glad that I am not the only who does the midnight vigil. I love this time. It is the that I feel closes to God. It’s the time the my prayer life is at it;s best. Not only do I have time to pray from my family and friends, I look out my widow and pray for those in other apartment buildings, cars that pass by or strangers I see out walking during the night time. The rest of my prayer time seems to get squeezed into small slots of time during the day but after midnight I have all night to be with God

  35. 39
    Diane and family says:

    Morning, Rosary in the afternoon while kids are at school, at 3:00, when the kids are all home, when the Mercy of Jesus is remembered, and, evening prayers and Bible time with kids:-), highly encourage praying with your children, and, then end the evening in personal prayer.

    Thank you for sharing this book!,<

  36. 40

    This reminds me of the “Daily Offices” of prayer that have been practiced by Christians for ages. Short prayers/scripture throughout the day at different moments, each with a different focus. It’s definitely a great habit to wrap our lives around…thanks for sharing!!

  37. 41

    What a beautiful idea! Thank you for sending it our way:).

  38. 42

    Who couldn’t benefit from this? Thanks so much for sharing it.
    I can’t offer much in the way of ideas, because I am awfully distracted most of the time when I pray – I think this is why the 7 Pauses idea appeals to me so much. One thing that’s helped me, though, is not only telling someone I’ll pray for them, but telling them WHEN. (For example, “Janie, I’ll pray for you tomorrow exactly at 3 – know that when you’re walking into that meeting, I’ll be on my knees for you.”) If I commit to it specifically, I’m too ashamed not to do it. (Ouch, the honesty – it hurts.)

  39. 43

    I just started that this month! I read the book with some friends and we are each taking an area of 7. I am doing 7 sacred pauses. It is really cool!

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