Anytime Prayers

As little Deborah sat down to eat dinner with her parents, she instinctively reached for her fork. “Please hold on,” her father replied. “We haven’t said grace yet.” Deborah was exasperated. She was tired and hungry. “Daddy,” she said with a sigh, “why can’t we just pray once a week? Why do we have to ask for our daily bread every day?”

Her older brother, eager to set her straight, weighed in before the dad could answer. “You don’t think we want stale bread, do you?”

This story, shared by Jim Daly in his blog for Focus on the Family, reminds us how important it is to have prayer as an essential part of our family life at meal time. But prayer is also vital at other times, too. Scheduled prayer and spontaneous prayer are both needed—and each serves different purposes.

There’s something to be said about the benefit of routine. According to James Clear with Huffpost Healthy Living, it can take anywhere between two to eight months to develop a habit. That can seem intimidating, but if you’re serious enough about creating a solid habit for life, that amount of time is a drop in the bucket. When it comes to prayer, I’d like to think that developing a habit of scheduled prayer would take less time, especially since God is all-knowing and all-powerful. He loves to defy the stats!

Matthew 6:5-8 gives instructions on how to pray:

  • We are not to be “hypocrites” and “stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that we may be seen by men.”
  • We are told, “go into your room, close your door and pray to your Father in secret.”
  • The last instruction says to “not use meaningless repetition.”

From these directives, we understand that our prayers should always have the right motives, be filled with meaning, and have a designated time and place to be offered. Consider choosing a time of day when you are focused and ready to begin your quality time with the Lord. Be sure to pick a place where you won’t be interrupted and can fully focus on Him. Make this your “War Room” of prayer.

While scheduled prayer is essential, 1 Thessalonians 5:17 also tells us to “pray continually.” We have the wonderful opportunity to pray anytime, anyplace, and anywhere! Spontaneous prayer is readily available whenever we need it—such as this time from my book My Climb that took place in the basement of my home the night of my Leukemia diagnosis. My prayers were obviously spontaneous and absolutely needed to help me keep my sanity at an insane time.

“As I closed my eyes, I breathed in the familiar smell of our basement and the sound of my rock (my mom) lying next to me, supposedly sleeping. I thanked God for the strong roots of faith she had helped grow over the years. I prayed those roots would support me for the journey to come!”

Our Heavenly Father never sleeps and is on the clock 24/7, so spontaneous prayer is a welcomed occasion for Him. God knows that our lives will have times of confusion and crisis as well blessings and joy. Spontaneous prayers are appropriate for all of these. Have a conversation with God in your car, in your cubicle at work, walking on the street, or even in the elevator at the mall! It can be spoken silently in your heart or boldly and aloud from your mouth. Who knows? Those who notice might even ask you to pray for them!

As you practice scheduled prayer and spontaneous prayer, my challenge to you is to put yourself out of your comfort zone and grow, grow, grow! Prayer is your sacred avenue to talk to your Abba Father (“Daddy”) and you need to keep that channel open and be anchored in the expectation of what He can—and will—do in your prayer life!

1 Comment

  1. Sharon Holland

    Prayers are like laser beams. They go straight to the throne of God and have great power.

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