Listenings: Finding Our Time and Place

Nouwen addresses the practicalities associated with prayer:  time and place (p. 25).  Our commitment to prayer must be expressed at specific hours of the day and in particular locations.

I agree with Nouwen that we pray best as we establish regular times and places.  These become “holy” not because they are magic, but because they are the sacred spaces where we train ourselves to anticipate meeting with God.

The church has established a morning/noon/evening pattern—with some additional hours added for a full-blown liturgical pattern.  And some traditions encourage that these hours be observed in a church, a prayer room, or in a consecrated part of a house.

But however we actualize our praying, the aim is to move beyond randomness and haphazardness to some kind of “rhythm” that works for us and enables us to commune with God heart to Heart.  Included in that aim will likely be some location that, over time, helps us to enter into a contemplative disposition.

Be on the lookout for your “times” and your “places” where prayer comes alive for you.


About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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