Seven Sacred Pauses
A condensed version of Jen Hatmaker’s summary of the Seven Sacred Pauses. The original book is Seven Sacred Pauses:Living Mindfully Through the Hours of the Day written by Macrina Wiederkehr. I have not read the book yet but it includes additional quotes, poetry, reflections and personal stories.
The Awakening Hour
A time to remember God’s goodness and begin the day in glory. “What needs to rise in us today? Do we need to awaken to joy? Forgiveness? Should we pray for resurrection of love in our hearts for our spouse and children? Ask for a dawning in our soul”
We begin a new day where our lives can become a living praise. It is a time to celebrate. A time to celebrate reform, healing, transformation.
This day is Yours, Jesus. Awaken Hour love in my heart so that I am a vessel of light today.
Psalm 19, 95,147
The Blessing Hour
This mid-morning pause has two emphases. Mindfulness of the Spirit’s abiding presence and the sacredness of our hands and work.
It is a time to invite the Spirit to stir our souls. “This pause can redirect our morning trajectory from efficient to inspired”. We invite a deeper connection before the day gets away.
And while our work looks different, rearing children, an office setting, classroom, etc, we ask the blessing of creativity, composure, inspiration and love. We approach this opportunity of work to show our love. We ask the work of our hands to be blessed and for the sacredness of our work to be revealed.
Psalm 67, 84, 121
The Hour of Illumination
At midday, the brightest moment of the day, we recommit to being a light. We pledge to serve, practice peace, give hope to the hopeless and provide light in the darkness. We ask the Spirit to send light, to open our hearts, to change deception to truth, despair to hope, hate to love. We search ourselves and ask for light where we are harboring anger, unforgiveness, and bitterness. We pray to bring joy to a dark world and offer our hands and words as agent of change and justice.
Psalm 24, 33, 34
The Wisdom Hour
At midafternoon we embrace the themes of surrender, forgiveness and wisdom. We recognize the impermanence of life and acknowledge that all things are passing. This hour we pray for wisdom to help us live fully. With such wisdom we could live more courageously, compassionately, free from bitterness and anxiety. We ask for perspective of the short, fleeting day, the short passing life, release our grudges, offer our gifts and embrace our time on earth.
Psalm 71, 90, 138
The Twilight Hour
Also called vespers, the theme of this hour is gratitude and serenity. This hour provides a chance to calm our minds. We invite God’s peace as we transition from our work day into dinner time and evening. We ask ourselves what the greatest blessing of the day was? What was a lovely accomplishment? What can I lay to rest until tomorrow? Who do I need to make peace with?
A major focus of the twilight hour is gratitude. We practice being thankful of our blessings, of the season of life we are in. Even when this hour may typically be frenzied, we say ‘thank you’. “We say thank you for tomorrow, a perfect landing spot for unfinished tasks. We say thank you for hands to labor and love with and ask for grace for the work of the approaching evening.”
Psalm 34, 139, 145
The Great Silence
A prayer to conclude the day. It begins with a gentle evaluation of the day, a beautiful prayer to do with children, a spouse or a friend. The focus is on awareness, weaknesses, strengths and accomplishments of the day. “We learn to live with more integrity and obedience than the day before, as together in prayer we examine the day.”
We pray for protection of darkness, for our children to be sheltered under God’s wings, for chains to be broken in areas we are stuck. We intervene for those who are suffering sick, lost and hurting.
We welcome the darkness as well, a time to heal and restore our minds and bodies. It is time to let go of the day and enter into silence.
Psalm 23, 91, 134.
The Night Watch
Also called vigils, this pause occurs around midnight. (although not for me, I typically do this one right before I go to bed or in the wee hours of the morning before my awakening prayer)
This is a deep prayer, interceding, keeping a vigil with Christ who never sleeps and guards us in our darkest hours. We advocate for others that are suffering, abandoned, oppressed and lonely. “Perhaps some night when you get up to pray, something will turn over in someone’s heart and find its voice all because of your small prayer. Perhaps our very waiting in the darkness gives some struggling unknown pilgrim in the hour’s hope.”
This is a moment spent in silence to shoulder the suffering.
Psalm 42, 63, 119:145-152