Wednesday Prayers: Calls to Prayer

I know a little, but not much, about calls to prayer in different communities of faith. Christian monastic communities are often grounded in specific hours of daily communal prayer, signaled by bells. One of the five pillars of Islam are 5 daily times of prayer, and visitors to Muslim countries might hear the call to prayer called out from minarets. For most of us, though, we must listen for covert calls to prayer.

When I first moved to this small town, I particularly enjoyed the church bells that play every day at noon and 6. This is an easy call to prayer to notice-- favorite hymns from the bells remind me of worship.

The sirens of emergency vehicles are a call to prayer for me. I remember a pastor from my childhood who would stop his sermon and offer a brief prayer for both those requiring and offering help when he heard a siren. I liked that a lot, and have offered a lot of silent prayers the same way.

When I do the week's grocery shopping alone (often this is a shared activity-- Mr. M LOVES grocery shopping), the checkout line is a call to prayer. I don't have anything to do, and the lines are filled with so many different people, often frazzled and unhappy. As I wait, I silently bless them.

These are my regular calls to prayer, but you'll notice they leave huge swaths of time without a call. I'd love to hear some of yours, to learn to notice other calls.


  1. I spend so much time on the road, in this call... one of mine is getting behind the wheel of the car. Even if I'm in a hurry, there is a moment or two while I'm starting the car and buckling my seat belt.

  2. I like that, Jane Ellen. It seems like a blessing for each quest.

  3. My calls to prayer are when I'm feeling anxious in the car (I worry about car crashes a lot). Another is when a helicopter flies to the hospital right next door to where I work. I shadowed the chaplains at our local hospital (found my calling!) so I know that when the helicopter lands there is another person in the trauma bay who needs help and could use a prayer (not to mention all the doctors, nurses, staff and chaplains there as well).

    I love your Wednesday prayers! Keep up the great work!


"So keep fightin' for freedom and justice, beloveds, but don't you forget to have fun doin' it. Lord, let your laughter ring forth. Be outrageous, ridicule the fraidy-cats, rejoice in all the oddities that freedom can produce. And when you get through kickin' ass and celebratin' the sheer joy of a good fight, be sure to tell those who come after how much fun it was."
-Saint Molly Ivins