On Saturday, May 7th I attended an Emmaus Retreat that was coordinated through Bellevue Christian Church. As we were sitting there listening to Chuck Gohn – Lead Minister and Elder at BCC – explain our exercise, a faint alarm went off on his phone and he nonchalantly said, “Oh that’s my fixed hour prayer.” He proceeded to bow his head and say a short (maybe 5 seconds?), but focused, prayer. After he was done, he gave us a quick rundown of what his “Fixed Hour Prayer” entailed. Each day, he has 3 alarms set on his phone – one in the morning, one in the afternoon and one in the evening. When the alarm goes off, he says a quick prayer to God.
The prayer can be whatever you need it to be at that time.
I really, really liked the idea of the “Fixed Hour Prayer” because the craziness of your day can SO quickly consume you and, before you know it, your feet have left the ground and you’re carried away by the busyness of your work schedule, a personal emergency, a school project, running errands, taking care of the kids, family or friend drama…well, you get the picture!
The day after our retreat, I set 3 reminders on my phone for each day. I thought, why not give it a try!? Turns out, I love it! I sometimes come down with a case of “tunnel vision.” I lay out my visions, goals, day-to-day routines and can forget to acknowledge what’s presently around me. It doesn’t always have to be “go, go, go!” I am someone who sometimes needs to “stop, stop, stop!”
The Fixed Hour Prayer helps to ground me – just when I need it! Sometimes, my 5 second prayer consists of a quick “thank you.” Other times, it consists of a request for God to help me practice more patience. Sometimes, my prayer even lasts longer than 5 seconds, making me realize I needed a checkpoint with God way more than I thought!
Thanks, Chuck, for such a neat little tool to practice daily!
For those of you reading this, I hope you give it a try. And, just so you know, there have been days where I’ve chosen not to do the Fixed Hour Prayer, hitting “ignore” on my reminder. I haven’t had a perfect record of doing it since the day I put it on my phone. There will be times where it may not be the appropriate time to do so – you could be in the middle of a meeting, a serious conversation with someone, etc… You be the judge!
“I really regret that workout” – said no one ever. Well, that’s what the Fixed Hour Prayer is like. “I really regret that prayer.” – said no one ever.
In a world where all of our agendas, obligations and distractions so quickly consume us, having this Fixed Hour Prayer allows for a time in the day where you can anchor yourself – even if just for 5 seconds – and connect with God…the One who gives us strength, focus, comfort and everything beyond our wildest dreams.