12 Days Seven Hours of Prayer

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"Seven times a day I praise You for Your righteous rules" (Psalm 119:164).

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

The Church throughout the ages has always set aside different times to pray. David wrote about seven times a day. Daniel went to his house three times a day to pray, which got him thrown into the lions' den (Daniel 6:10). The medieval Church, especially in the monasteries, used the above passages to outlaw seven prayer hours that are attached to particular times of day where Jesus did something important.

However, St. Paul understands David's statement better than our forefathers in the faith. Our entire life should be a life of prayer. Luther said in the first of his Ninety-Five Theses, "Our Lord and Master Jesus Christ … willed that the whole life of believers be repentance." Repentance is nothing more than prayer.

Luther also gave an outline for prayer with the acronym ACTS. Adoration. Confession. Thanksgiving. Supplication. If you read his A Simple Way to Pray, he prays through the Ten Commandments, Lord's Prayer and Apostles' Creed with this acronym.

Prayer is a simple activity that can really change your life. Many people want to shy away from it, but it is a simple conversation with God. We shouldn't keep away from prayer because we don't know what to say. "Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, You know it altogether" (Psalm 139:4). God already knows what you are going to ask before you ask it. Verbally saying these requests are a great way to remind yourself that you have everything you ask for through faith in Christ (John 11:22; 1 John 5:15). With this in mind, we may "rejoice always, pray without ceasing, [and] give thanks in all circumstances" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17). Amen.