Chris has been struggling at work for the past six months. It’s nothing specific. Just the ruts we all get into when we’ve been at a job for any length of time. He normally does such a good job of separating home from work, but when he’s struggling at work, he tends to bring that frustration home with him and, to be honest, it was weighing us all down.
One afternoon, Chris and I were talking about using your work schedule to get the most out of your home life. The concept came from a book I read at the beginning of the New Year last year called “Simplify” by Bill Hybels. I loved this book. It gave simple, straightforward ways to use the organization and focus we apply to our work lives in our home and spiritual lives, too.
In one part of the book, he talked about scheduling time for prayer in your work day. I have always loved this idea. I love the practice of prayer in regular intervals throughout the day. I see that in the Muslim faith and have always thought that was such a poignant way to stay faithful – everything else stops while you rededicate yourself to your faith in the middle of your busy, every day life.
As Chris struggled to find his happiness and peace throughout his work day, this book and that ritualistic prayer routine kept coming back to me. So, I took his phone one night after he’d gone to bed and I set three repeating alarms for him. I scheduled them to go off Monday-Friday while he was at work.
The first alarm was scheduled for 10:30am, just after Chris arrives at work and starts getting busy. This alarm says, “Say a prayer and thank God for today.”
The second alarm was scheduled for 1:30pm, in the middle of his day, right as he is probably the busiest. This alarm says, “Pray about whatever you are struggling with today.”
The third and final alarm was scheduled to go off at 6:00pm, right when Chris leaves work. It says, “Thank God for your workday and come home!”
It has been over two months since I set those alarms for Chris and he still has them turned on. Monday through Friday, three times a day, he gets a scheduled reminder to bow his head and refocus on God. Since then, I’ve even set them for myself on my own phone! Mine go off at 9:15, right before students come in for my first class of the day. The second goes off during my lunch period, and the last goes off at 4:00pm, just as the last student is leaving my class for the day.
Prayer alarms have helped Chris and I to remember to give our daily lives in prayer to God. Which sounds so simple, but when you get going throughout your busy day, that can be harder than you’d think. With our prayer alarms, we have constant reminders. And it makes a difference.