How to do this prayer practice:

1.  Be encouraged by those who have prayed for peace during other generations

In 1940 during the blitz on Britian, Major Wellesly Tudor-Pole proposed that people be asked to pause for one minute at 9 PM every evening to pray for peace.  He is quoted as saying,

“There is no power on earth that can withstand the united cooperation on spiritual levels of men and women of goodwill everywhere. It is for this reason that the continued and widespread observance of the Silent Minute is of such vital importance in the interest of human welfare.”

The idea gained the backing of King George IV, Sir Winston Churchill, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt who had allied troops observe it as well.  On Sunday, Nov 10, 1940, BBC radio began playing the chimes of Big Ben to call the nation to pray for peace during the Silent Minute.

The following is a quote that shows the effect that this moment of prayer had.  After the war In 1945 a Nazi official told a British intelligence officer, “During the war, you had a secret weapon for which we could find no counter measure, which we did not understand, but it was very powerful. It was associated with the striking of the Big Ben each evening. I believe you called it the ‘Silent Minute.’

After the 9-11 terrorist attack, a woman in London named Dorothy Forster organized a revival of the Silent Minute and many have joined her in praying through conflicts and wars since then in Iraq and Afghanistan.

2.  Create your own daily prayer reminder.

The tolling of Big Ben was an effective reminder to prayer during World War II and today we can make our own reminders to pray at precisely 9 PM via electronic means, such as setting an alarm on a clock or a cell phone.

3. Pray for peace for one minute.

During your Silent Minute, ask God to bring peace to areas of the world that are in conflict and to send his helping presence to refugees and victims of war.

Personal tips:

I was unaware that the Silent Minute existed until I received an email being passed around encouraging praying people in the U.S. to adopt this practice and to all pray at 9 PM for the safety of our country and our troops and for a return to being a godly nation.

Traditional or Scriptural Basis for this prayer practice:

In the Bible we are told to pray for peace.

Psalm 122:6-8 “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May those who love you be secure.  May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.  For the sake of my brothers and friends I will say, ‘Peace be within you.’”

Copyright Karen Barber 2011