Time and The Hours of Prayer

Rev. Samuel Son

If you control time, you control reality. For what is reality but the passage of time? We are beings in time. This instinct comes out in the watches we wear, the omnipresent clock on the notifications of smart phones, and the calendars tacked on our walls. We cannot meet a person until we make an appointment in time. We plan, organize, and live by the marks of time. How you divide your hours determines what pulls your life.

Romans counted their years with the birth of their Empire or by the rule of their Consuls. People could talk about events only by talking about the Consuls and their reign. Through the calendar, the Consuls became a permanent fixture of people’s life.

Currently, many are trying to replace “B.C.” (Before Christ) with “B.C.E” (Before the Common Era), because much more is at stake than which acronym has a better ring.

The creation of the day of Sabbath was God taking back man’s presumption that they can determine the measuring stick for time. The seventh day is holy. Which was to say everything was holy because the Jew now saw every day of the week in relation to the completion of the week in Sabbath.

Today, we don’t have the same reverence for a day set apart for God (Sunday for us Christians), because, we are less superstitious and more free, so we say. We are not stuck in legalism so we can skip Sunday, we also say. But we are lying to ourselves. This is not a maturity into grace but capitulation and slavery to the secular society. Sunday is no longer the Lord’s day, but the 2nd day of the weekend, the end of our work week. Though our calendars say Sunday starts the week, we don’t feel it that way. Today, you have options to start your calendar app’s week on Monday.

By taking away God’s right to measure our time, we handed our lives over to the secular society. No day is sacrosanct. Every day is for work. Even weekends spent for pleasure, has become work, work to have enough pleasurable experiences to make the work week worth the labor, and with enough photos to share with others to fool others to think we are enjoying our lives because if we fool others, we can fool ourselves. When God doesn’t measure time, we become slaves to the systems that take our labor and money with nothing to give back to our soul.

The hours of prayer is letting God determine our day. We don’t wake up at 6am to work. We wake up at 6am to praise our Lord. This is the potency of the hours of prayer. Though the prayers are short, they cast a shadow through all the hours in between. I am working in the light of the noon prayer or looking towards the afternoon prayer. Though I am not always thinking about God, my rhythm is set by God and in that sense I am always praying to God. The snare doesn’t always have to be hit for the drum to keep pulling me in its beat. I am giving my day to God by praying the set hours.

My phone alarm is vibrating. I am called to pray.

Tips on hours of prayer:

  1. Pray out loud enough for your ears. Pronounce each word. Don’t rush. Reading out loud is what makes the word come alive. In fact, 90 percent of understanding happens in the hearing.
  2. If you miss an hour of prayer, don’t sweat it. Pray it when you remember. If you miss more than one, don’t pray catch up. Just pray the next prayer hour.
  3. Don’t stress trying to memorize. Repetition with attention to the prayer’s movement will inscribe it into your heart. And when you have that prayer in your heart, it will keep praying in behalf of you. You will say it before you know it.