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When, Where, and How to Pray With Success


how to pray

A couple of weeks back, I really felt led to give some simple keys on how to pray successfully with our church.


I know consistent prayer can sometimes be a struggle for people, especially with all the busyness of life.


We sometimes struggle with how to develop this discipline and make sure we are going about it the right way.


My desire is that you feel empowered with a little guidance on how to approach prayer.


Let’s jump in!


How to Pray: What Did Jesus and Paul Say About Prayer?


Luke 18:1

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.


The command is simple to understand. We should always pray and never lose heart.


I believe that prayer is not an option for people of faith but should be something consistent because it is one way in which we connect with our heavenly Father.


1 Thessalonians 5:17

pray without ceasing,


It seems Paul has the same command as Jesus….. we should never stop praying!


The word for ceasing means “constantly, never stopping.”


Does this mean we should go around praying all day? I don’t think that is the idea Paul had in mind.


I believe he is trying to articulate the idea of making prayer something we consistently do, just like we go to work, eat, and spend time with our families.


Prayer cannot be a part-time devotion.


Why Pray?


First, I think we should pray because we are commanded to. I also feel prayer is something that helps us hear from the Lord.


In Matthew 26, we find Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane right before his crucifixion pouring out his heart to the Father desiring if there could be another way to go about redemption.


I’m sure there was anguish, and the burden to carry all of humanity's sins upon himself was heavy.


Jesus knew it was not going to be an easy task so he found himself in prayer.


What’s also important is that he doesn’t go alone. He brings his disciples with him and encourages them to pray as well.


After some time, he finds the disciples asleep and lets them know that they must learn to stay awake and alert during this time.


You see if Jesus (who was God in the flesh) felt so overwhelmed by what he needed to

accomplish that he had to pray, how much more you and I?


Jesus knew the secret to getting through this difficulty was to pray.


Every person in this life will fight difficult situations, and one key to dealing with those situations is to pray.


We can spend all our time in worry, which does not change anything, or we can spend time in prayer with the one who can change anything.


When Should I Pray?


1. Morning:


Psalm 88:13

But I, O LORD, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you.


Praying in the morning might be a great time for you. This could be before the kids awake, and you head off to work.


Some people feel praying in the morning is best because they will be busy the rest of the day.


If this is you, then try to find a few minutes before you start your day to get up and pray and talk to the Lord.


We know there are times when Jesus prayed in the morning (see Mark 1:35).


2. Noon:


Acts 10:9

The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray.


The sixth hour is noon. Peter is on the housetop at noon time praying and during this

time of prayer, he gets a vision that leads to the Gentiles getting saved.


Peter made some time during the day to spend in prayer.


You might be a person who gets too busy in the morning with all the tasks of getting kids

ready, fed, and off to school.


If so, you can spend some time during lunch praying and worshiping the Lord.


I know people personally who sit alone, eat their lunch and make time for prayer.


I know you may desire to get on your knees, put on some worship music, and pray. That is great, and I think we all should practice it.


But if you are limited in time, at least some time at noon can work wonders in your life and help you to hear from the Lord.


3. Evening:


Acts 3:1

Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.


The ninth hour is 3 PM. In Bible times, it was considered the evening.


I want you to also notice that it says Peter and John “were going up” during the hour of prayer.


There was a time in which they made for prayer. This lets us know that prayer was a priority and something of value for the believers in the New Testament.


Again, you might feel that you don’t have time to pray in the morning or midday.


Then pray in the evening right before bed, and you will see your relationship with God flourish in a deeper and more intimate way.


Psalm 55:17

Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice.


In Psalm 55, the writer again tells us when we can pray: evening, morning, or noon.


The point is not to be legalistic about certain times of prayer but to understand that you can pray any time of the day.


God is in no way limited to the morning at 5 AM or only at noon.


God desires to commune with you in prayer throughout the entire day.


We just must learn to develop this discipline of prayer and realize how important it is to help us navigate through life, especially when things get difficult.


Where Should I Pray?


You might be asking, “Does it really matter where I pray?”


The short answer is no! God is everywhere and it doesn’t matter where you are. He is just a prayer away.


There is a scripture that I think helps us give direction on where we should pray:


Matthew 6:5–6

5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.


Jesus is not condemning public prayer but praying publicly for the purpose of being seen by others.


You might desire to start praying with a friend or family member but feel that doing so violates this scripture, but it doesn’t.


The point I believe Jesus is trying to make is also learning to find a place where you can be alone with God and seek him.


It could be in a bedroom, a closet, or even a bathroom. Learn to get to a place where you can focus without all the distractions.


Also, notice the scriptures tell us that when we make time to be alone with God in prayer, He will reward us.


There is nothing (not even the time you give to God) that He does not reward you back. He loves to give back to His children.


Our Position in Prayer


A lot of people understand when and where they should pray, but they come to prayer with the wrong heart.


Set your heart with these characteristics when you enter prayer.


Humility


The greatest position and attitude in prayer is humility.


Humility expresses our need for Christ and shows that we cannot do anything without his help.


Pride gets in the way of humility because we think that, with our own strength and abilities, we can figure things out.


You might be able to do certain things with your own strength, but there will come a day when you need God, and it will take you to be humble and see your need for him.


The Apostle Paul, despite being one of the most influential figures in Christianity, referred to himself as the least of the apostles and chief of sinners.


His example teaches us that humility is essential for spiritual growth (see 1 Corinthians 15:9, 1 Timothy 1:15).


Righteous


James 5:16

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.


The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.


When you pray, you must understand and know that you are accepted by Him because of Jesus's work and your faith.


You are right because He made you right.


This is important because if you don’t understand this, you will think there is a wall between you and him and it will cause you to approach God wrong.


There are a lot of Christians who don’t come to God in faith because they feel they are not right with Him because of all of the bad things they have done.


They base their position on their own righteousness instead of the gift of righteousness that is received by faith.


We are made righteous by faith through the blood of Jesus Christ.


So when we come to him, we can come in faith, knowing that our prayers have great power.


This isn’t because we are confident in ourselves but confident that he hears us and accepts us based on Jesus Christ alone (see 1 Peter 3:12).


Faith


Matthew 21:21–22

21 And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. 22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”


Faith in God and faith that you will receive whatever you believe for is a key to prayer.


Don’t pray hopeful and wishful prayers; learn to pray confidently, with assurance in your heart that God will give you what you ask for.


Faith is seeing it in the spiritual realm and believing it’s going to manifest in the natural.


Conclusion


I hope that you are encouraged and have gained simple insight into how you can approach prayer better.


God desires to hear from you, and he desires your presence just as much as you desire His.


I want to encourage you to make prayer a part of your life and watch how things will turn around.


It’s a journey filled with life and miracles!

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