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Friday, April 15, 2005


It runs like Clockwork… It’s every Wednesday… Orange Wednesdays!

So there’s this article on the 24-7Prayer site in the news section linking to an item called ‘How monks invented the alarm clock to help them pray’.

For some reason I’d never considered how we involved with 24-7 prayer are tied into such technology such as the advancement of the clock to recognise time. In order to pass the baton of prayer we need to have a system of time a la the Benedictine monks. This article made me stop and think upon this whole concept and think about rhythms. It’s seems clear to me that nature reflects rhythm in a big way and yet clocks, a human invention although completely reflecting rhythm have ended up taking us out rhythm with nature. We adopt meetings to last a certain amount of time; we work in the dark during winter all because we have our own 9-5 little prison to thank. What was a great tool for good to be able to monitor when one should be resting, working studying or praying has become a manacle.

It’s always interesting looking at certain developing world cultures where the clock has not played such a role. Do they get so upset with tardiness, with stresses of rushing and disobeying speed limits? Well some might, but I do remember spending time with an African guy at university and it was great to talk to him as he never felt like he was rushing to another place. There’s an element of complete hospitality when we abandon our clocks. Every person we meet in that scenario, might feel more like appointments by God. We see plenty of this in our own lives when we host visitors and for a while, time sometimes has to go on the backburner as we try to discover what becoming Mary is about. I’d have loved to see what Jesus’ disciples were like in terms of trying to move him on to other engagements. Part of me has to consider whether he played havoc with them. It’s this deep desire to learn more about these rhythms of hospitality; relationship and prayer that make me keener to discover the urban monk within.

24-7 Prayer developed out of a look at the Moravians in Hernhut who took on prayer in periods of time and rhythms. We at 24-7 take it on using the clock to interpret time. Is this evolution and also a way God wants to redeem one of man’s better inventions?

hmmm...lots to think about.
I value time with my friends so much
we're doing a 24-7 in charlotte. wonder how yours is going.
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