by Rob Globke
O LORD, God of my salvation; I cry out day and night before you.
1 Thess 5:17
Pray without ceasing...
In the previous 2 posts in this series we looked at the "Why" and the "where" of prayer. In this post, we are going to take a focused look on the "when".
So, when should we pray?
Well, we could make this a really short post and simply say, "there is not one specific time we should pray....you should pray at all times in all situations," but that just wouldn't be our style! We all know the statement above is true. There are no restrictions on our prayers. Since God doesn't need sleep, can be in all places at once, and desires to hear from us, we can be assured He is listening ALL the time. The line is always open, always available. We have no excuses. We don't have to try and figure out what might be best for all parties involved because for all parties involved the best time to pray is ALL the time.
Why is this often so hard to do?
1. We are Forgetful
For one, we are a forgetful people. Many things in life are grabbing for our attention; especially for a traveling, practicing, weekend filling hockey player or family. It just doesn't register on our "things to do" list amid so much going on. Sometimes, in order to get to the point where prayer is constantly on our minds, it helps to schedule prayer in so we get in a rhythm. Young hockey players often need a buzzer or whistle to signal a change in lines otherwise they would never change for their teammates. As players get older, they no longer need the restrictions because a line change is engrained into the way the game is played. It becomes second nature. In the same way, you may need a block of time to get in the rhythm of prayer to start. As time goes on, prayer becomes more of a habit and a part of your daily life and the structure is not always needed.
2. We over complicate things
Another reason we find praying constantly so hard to do is because we often get caught thinking our prayers have to be elaborate well thought out prayers to make an impact. We get paralysis by analysis if you will. We over think the simple reality of coming before a loving father with a simple request. For those that know kids, you know a child has no problem asking about or talking about the smallest things. Things we often take for granted are new experiences for young minds, so they ask without inhibition. With our heavenly Father, we forget to act like his children at times.It doesn't have to be long or elaborate. Even just the simple phrase "Help Me" spoken in your head or out loud is a very heart felt prayer in a tough situation.
3. We are Prideful
A final reason, and perhaps the most dangerous, of not praying at all times is pride. Pride tells us we don't need any help. It tells us we can handle our own problems, futures, choices. Pride fails to acknowledge God and relies on the God of self. Prayer is the opposite of Pride. Prayer is an acknowledgement of a need for help, a longing for help. In the presence of pride we often forget to pray!The best remedy for pride is prayer. This seems like a no win battle. If pride prevents me from praying, how am I supposed to pray against pride? You ask God to remove pride from your heart and replace it with a desire to know HIM more deeply, more closely.
Hey, we never said it was easy, but together with the above two points, it can be done with a little effort on your part. At first you may need to "schedule" or make a commitment to pray. These prayer times may be short....really short....but, soon you will find yourself wanting to speak with your heavenly Father constantly.
So, don't wait to pray. Simply start and let God begin to change your heart and mind.
Finish the series on prayer with part 4
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