In most monastic communities the monks would meet together to pray several times a day. It was part of their every day life, and it would become a habit – something that happens without thinking. No matter what they were doing at the time, gardening, preparing food, study… when the bell tolled they would “down tools” and head to the chapel.
Being together regularly formed authentic community. Being together with God meant that they developed a sense of being with God throughout their day – their day was “punctuated” with reminders that God was intimately interested in them, invited them to be in relationship with Him, and to be part of what he was up to in the world.
What does that look like in 21st Century New Zealand? We obviously do not live in the same kind of monastic community, and our daily lives are spent all over the place. This activity is possibly a way to try and replicate the same kind of habit forming, connecting with each other and with God. It may be that by stopping, pausing, and engaging with God regularly every day, after a few months we will carry with us a more constant sense of awareness of Gods presence.
“Touch Pause engage” comes from the way rugby scrums used to be led – and doesn’t mean much at all except a novel way of thinking about how we connect with God.
Can we use 21st social media, in this case Twitter, to send out a “bell” 3 times a day (7am, 12 midday and 6pm) to remind us to “pause and engage” with God? The reminder will have a suggested prayer, or questions. The suggested process is once you “hear the bell” you down tools, pause (count to 5 silently), breathe deeply, and read the prayer. At the same time others from our wider faith community will be doing the same thing. No rules apply, as we don’t want this to result in any sense of obligation, guilt or failure – they are not Kingdom expectations. You are simply invited to join or not. The prayers will be simple and short like “God please lead me today.”
A woman I read said once, prayer is simply being aware of God. You don’t have to do anything, or say anything specific, but pause and engage. The one liner may prompt you to say something else to God, or more importantly listen to what God might be saying to you at that time. Just the simple activity of stopping and breathing deeply is beneficial for your soul.
Interested? Then set yourself up on Twitter and “Follow TPE” – instructions below.
Instructions to receive via Text Message (2degrees and SPARK customers)
- TEXT 8987 ‘follow kiwichurch1’
Instructions to receive via Twitter
- Go to twitter.com
- Sign up (or log in if already a twitter user)
- Search for Kiwichurch1 and select ‘follow’