Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. Acts 3.1
Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945)
“After the day’s work we pray God for the blessing, peace, and safety of all Christendom; for our congregation; for the pastor in his ministry; for the poor, the wretched, and lonely; for the sick and dying; for our neighbors, for our own folks at home, and for our fellowship. When can we have any deeper sense of God’s power and working than in the hour when our hands lay down their work and we commit ourselves to the hands of God?”
Bonhoeffer seems to be commending a season of prayer when our work is completed and we retreat into the Lord. There is excellent Biblical precedent for this. The Apostles, following the example of Old Testament saints like Daniel, observed set “hours of prayer” in which they would draw back from their work to refocus on the Lord. Bonhoeffer suggests that the end of our working day, late in the afternoon, might be a good time for such a practice, and he offers excellent suggestions for prayer topics. These hours of prayer can be extremely valuable if we will treat them like appointments with the Lord each day: set them, attend faithfully, and follow-up appropriately. What better way to hang your day on prayer, and to move closer to Paul’s standard of prayer without ceasing (1 Thess. 5.17)?
Have you ever tried keeping “hours of prayer” as part of your prayer life? Why not try Bonhoeffer’s suggestion for an afternoon prayer time for a week?
T. M. Moore
Forgiveness plays an important role in Christian community life. But what is forgiveness? Why is it so important? How can we practice forgiveness more consistently? Dr. Stan Gale addresses these and many other questions in his book, Forgiveness: Discovering the Healing Power of the Gospel. Listen to our Conversation with Stan by clicking here.
Praying the Psalms and Hours of Prayer
Praying the psalms throughout the day can help you to bring more prayer into your day, and to keep before your mind the things that are on God’s. For more instruction in how to use the psalms in prayer – and why you should – order a copy of our book, God’s Prayer Program (click here). Here you will learn information and guidelines to help you make praying the psalms a regular part of your prayer life.
Our heavenly Father supports The Fellowship of Ailbe through the generous and faithful gifts of those who benefit from and believe in our work. Does the Lord want to use you in this way? Please look to Him in prayer over this question. You can contribute to The Fellowship of Ailbe by using the Contribute button at our website, or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452. Thank you.
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.