#prayertips

Praying at 3pm

Recently I was doing some reading for a talk on Acts 10. One of the early Christian theologians commented that the Angel came to Cornelius at the ‘ninth hour’ - the same time that Christ died on the cross. He then made the point that the completed work of the cross, through which all have the opportunity to return to the Father, somehow echoes in this angelic apparition. I quite liked this. It made me think about the cross more and I liked that. 

Cross.jpg

And then something clicked in my mind. I remembered that there are seven ‘last words’ spoken by Jesus on the cross recorded in the gospels and that they could be matched with the seven days of the week. So now, each day, my phone alarm goes at 3pm and I remember the ‘word’ from the cross I’ve set for that day.

Sunday: ‘Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit’ Luke 23:46
Monday: ‘My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?’ Matthew 27:46
Tuesday: ‘Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise’ Luke 23:43
Wednesday: ‘Woman behold your Son. Son, behold your mother.’ John 19:26-27
Thursday: ‘I thirst’ John 19:28
Friday: ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ Luke 23:34
Saturday: ‘It is finished’. John 19:30

(If you’re looking to understand the logic - Sunday’s word has Spirit, Monday to Friday were a simple case of clear alliteration and Saturday is the last day of the week)

When the alarm goes I either say the word out loud or in my head and I try to think about what those words mean and what they teach us about the heart of God. Some days the phone alarm goes and I’m in the middle of a conversation and I forget to return to it. Other days I have had a genuinely profound experiences of God as the afternoon progresses. Most afternoons it is simply a short prayerful interruption. And something you could join in with or adapt?

James Stevenson