No doubt you are familiar with the Olympic sports of synchronized diving, skating, and swimming, the latter previously known as water ballet. But who knew that synchronized swimming has been around as a competitive sporting event since 1891? ¹ Now, let me introduce you to something that you may or may not be familiar with – synchronized prayer – specifically, synchronized nexus prayer.
Strictly speaking, and by definition, synchronization occurs when two independent agents act in unison, occur at the same time, coincide, or agree in time or concert at the same rate and exactly together. When this principle is applied to prayer, I think it looks something like what Jesus had in mind when he said:
“Again, I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” – Matthew 18:19,20
Now, it’s obvious that Jesus had a literal, physical gathering of individuals in mind when he spoke those words, but there is no reason why today, with all our technological advances, we Christians cannot gather together virtually as well. Indeed, even though I live in Spring and my personal nexus prayer partner lives in a different city, we “gather” in our separate homes at 5:20 each morning for nexus prayer, but to also synchronize our prayer time with The Brothers of the Taizé Community in France. Now, with a local prayer group gathering for nexus prayer every Sunday morning at 10:15 am (Room BEC 315) at Saint Dunstan’s Episcopal Church of Houston, I’d like to extend the invitation for others to join us for synchronized prayer during the rest of the week as well.
The concept is the same as we find in Scripture. David prayed morning, “noon”, and night; the Apostles observed the Jewish custom of praying at the third, sixth and ninth hour and at midnight (Acts 10:3, 9; 16:25; etc.), and for centuries monastic brothers and sisters have united for the Liturgy of the Hours ² throughout the day.
Except for the occasional scheduling conflict, special meetings, or select holidays, below are my scheduled daily prayer times seven days a week for 2017 (adjusted periodically). I invite you join me for synchronized prayer any or all times as your schedule permits. If you like, text me a few minutes before the posted time so I’ll know you are joining me for a five minute nexus prayer. Conversely, I also recommend you have a regular time each day that you set aside for nexus prayer. Let me know your set times and I’ll join you! Don’t have a scheduled prayer practice yet? No problem. To get started, simply begin with a 5 minute Nexus Prayer sometime in the morning, and another in the evening, eventually adding one in the afternoon – three times a day! Regardless, my recommendation is that everyone find at least one time a day that is ideal for their personal routine and make it a regular, daily event – a Divine appointment.
My Daily Scheduled Prayer Times (November 2017)
5:00 am | Morning Prayers | Synchronized prayer with the Brothers of SSJE Monastery ³
5:20 am | Nexus Prayer | Synchronized prayer with local prayer partners and the Brothers of Taizé Community³ France.
10:15 am | Nexus Prayer | Synchronized prayer with Saint Dunstan’s Nexus Prayer Group (meets at church on Sunday mornings at 10:15 in Room 315 of the Bentley Education Center.)
12:00 noon | Daily synchronized nexus prayer at noon (meets for a special Eucharist Service and prayer every Thursday at noon in Saint Dunstan’s Canterbury Chapel.)
6:00 pm | Synchronized nexus prayer in conjunction with evening prayer walks for the community
11:00 pm | Evening prayers with final nexus prayer of the day
Seven Days a Week (5 am-11:00 pm)
I strive for one hour of nexus prayer daily (God gives us 24 hours each day, the least we can do is give one back don’t you think?) So that means that in addition to my scheduled prayers, I also try to sprinkle in about another half dozen nexus prayers throughout the day as my schedule permits. Why not join me?
And although we gather for prayer in community every Sunday, synchronized prayer allows us to pray in communion with one another virtually whether you are in Houston, New York, Canberra, or Canterbury. Perfect for when you are unable to make it to church or are on a business trip. Bottom line: Allen is happy to join you for a 5-minute nexus prayer any day of the week, seven days a week, between 5:00 am and 11:00 pm. I’m just a text, email, or phone call away. Let’s pray together!
Other Synchronized Prayer Opportunities
You are welcome to join Allen in synchronized prayer during any of the published times above. But if you like, you can also participate in synchronized prayer with the Brothers of Taizé and the Brothers of SSJE Monastery. Their daily scheduled prayer times as listed on their respective websites are shown below:
Finally, allow yourself a few minutes of extra time to prepare yourself for prayer, especially if you are scheduling your nexus prayer for the early, pre-dawn hours. For example, every morning I begin my morning prayers at 5:00 am, so I set my alarm clock for 4:54 to allow myself enough time to get up, wash my face, and prepare to start my prayer precisely at 5:00 am. Likewise, when planning to pray with the Brothers of Taizé at 1:30 pm in Houston (8:30 pm in France), my iPhone timer gives me a 5 minute reminder so I can stop what I am doing at the moment and properly prepare myself for prayer.
Like more information or interested in joining me for prayer? Contact me.
NOTES & REFERENCES
1 Synchronized Swimming | Wikipedia – the free Encyclopedia
2 Liturgy of the Hours | Wikipedia – the free Encyclopedia
3 Brothers of SSJE Monastery | Episcopalian Brothers of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist
4 The Brothers of Taizé | Brothers of the Taizé Community, Taizé, France
5 Photo Credit: Synchronized Swimmers | Public Domain via Jesus de Blas (Russia) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons | Used and modified with permission by Nexus Prayer International.