When I decided to write on this topic, I thought about what people would think when they see the title. So let me put the mind of some you at ease. My objective is not to try and convince you about how long to Pray.
How long we pray is not necessarily an indication of Effective Prayer. Praying to God for 24 hours is not necessarily more effective than praying for one hour or even 30 minutes. Jesus warned His disciples against being like those who think they will be heard because of lengthy prayers of vain repetitions (Matthew 6:7).
When I was a teen and young adult, local Pentecostal churches used to have “tarry services.” Some attendees would tarry for hours at the altar awaiting deliverance or receipt of the Holy Spirit. I believe local churches need to be extremely careful with regard to the message they are conveying when they have these kinds of services.
Praying all night long or around the clock does not necessarily result in effective prayer. We must not careful not to promote that wrong theology. But there are some relevant factors in each of our life that will have bearing on how long to pray in order to realize effective prayer. Here are six of those factors:
Six Factors That Have Bearing on Effective Prayer
1. First and foremost, we must pray in order to receive from God. Prayer is the means by which we make our requests known to God and by which we receive from God. One reason some people don’t receive what they need from God is because they don’t make their requests known to Him in prayer (James 4:2).
2. We should pray long enough to get into our “prayer closet.” This point is what inspired me to write on this subject. I was praying a few days ago and I realized that while I was praying my mind was everywhere but on God. I had to get a hold of myself and block out everything and concentrate on God alone. That is a requirement for effective prayer.
Let me stress that we should be prayerful throughout our day. But when I talk about our prayer closet I am referring to the special time we dedicate to being alone with God to pray.
3. We need to pray long enough to address pressing issues in our life. Of course, all of us are in a different place in our life. As you read this post, you may have a number of pressing issues going on in your life. One of best things you can do is to boldly talk to God about those things. He can do “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).
4. We should pray daily for the ministry or ministries we are involved in. Again, this means different things to each of us. Some of you may not be involved in any work for the Lord at this time. Others may be involved in several ministries.
My main ministry is that of a pastor. So I pray about what God would have me to preach each week. I pray for members of my congregation that I know are sick or who are going through difficult times. I pray against the works of the enemy he wants to use against the ministry. The point is that the particular ministry we are involved in presents its own set of issues to pray about.
5. We need to respond to input from the Holy Spirit as we pray. For instance, oftentimes when I am praying, seemingly out of the blue the Holy Spirit will bring people or things to my mind to pray about. Effective prayer requires us to respond to those prompts from the Holy Spirit.
6. We should allow the Holy Spirit to pray through us. This point applies to those of you who speak in other tongues. Every day that I pray involves episodes of the Holy Spirit giving me utterance to pray in other tongues. I have no idea what is being said. But the Bible tells us that the one who speaks in an unknown tongue edifies himself (1 Corinthians 14:4).
I could go on with additional points. But I think you get the gist of what I am saying. Again, this is not a post about how long to pray. But it provides a snapshot of some things that have bearing on what constitutes adequate prayer time and hence effective prayer. That duration of prayer is different for each of us.
How committed are you to realizing effective prayer in your life?
Copyright © 2019 by Frank King. All rights reserved.