I can’t remember where I heard of this (if it’s you, thank you and let me know so I can credit you!) but I heard of a church that decided to pray together every day. To gather together physically was impractical so they agreed that at 11am each day they would stop and simply pray the Lord’s Prayer silently.
I have adopted that practice. With the benefit of electronic diaries I get a reminder every day at 11 to pray the Lord’s Prayer. This is a new discipline for me, although I use and find the pattern of the Lord’s Prayer is essential to my praying:
It has many facets—like a beautiful gemstone.
In prayer we praise God and tell him what we think of him.
We thank God for how he has responded to us, for answered prayers and for what he has done.
We acknowledge that God is God, and submit ourselves to his will.
We ask God for help for ourselves and for others. We might be asking for protection, for health, for strength, for physical needs and much more.
We ask for forgiveness, a fresh start and a renewed experience of his Spirit within us.
We seek his wisdom and guidance for our life, recognizing that his ways are not always what we expect.
We seek God’s blessing on our own lives and on our friends, family and others. We express our concern about national and international incidents and ask for God to inspire us and others to help however we can.
We ask that God’s Kingdom would continue to grow in our life, in those around us, and throughout the world.
We tell God how we feel—whether we feel on top of the world, or that we are walking through the darkest valley, or simply that things are ‘okay’.
However I have not always found it helpful to recite the Lord’ Prayer verbatim. Perhaps it comes from my childhood in Primary School Assemblies where we would recite it and it almost became a race to see who could finish first, or from experiences where the recitation was dour and without intonation or expectation. But I am determined to try this.
I am letting you know for a couple of reasons:
One is so that if I stop in the middle of something we are doing together at 11am and pause you will know why.
Another is to invite you to join me. Praying together simultaneously in this way is a way of expressing shared faith in Jesus.
It is also a significant prayer to pray as a pattern and even (I am experiencing) as a prayer in itself.
And it may even be missional: if someone asks you why you have paused you can tell them. You could even invite them to join you!
One tip – if you are driving at 11 o’clock it may be best either to pull over and stop or to pray with your eyes open!
Be blessed, be a blessing