When it comes to prayer, there are no confined rules. We see different bible characters praying at different times; morning, late at night, before and after battles, and even on the cross Jesus prayed. This also shows that prayer is essential in the life of every Christian.
The best time to pray is every time. According to Apostle Paul, pray without ceasing. God does not sleep or slumber, so anytime you want to communicate to Him, just pray.
In this article, we are going to look at when to pray and how to maintain a prayer schedule.
How Do I Pray?
As earlier stated, prayer is essential to a Christian; it is like a link to God. Each time we pray, we open a communication channel between God and us that allows us to reveal our innermost desires to Him. Knowing when to pray has no effect if you don’t know how to pray, so let’s take a look at how to pray.
Create a Schedule to Pray Regularly
It is easy to forget to pray or say, ‘I am too busy’ to pray. To overcome this procrastination habit, create a timetable for prayer. This should be a conscious effort. For instance, if you want to start exercising, you will create a roaster to exercise either morning, afternoon, or evening. You determine the duration of each workout session as well. This also applies to prayer. Make similar conscious efforts to pray. You can write your prayer schedule down and place it somewhere visible.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you cannot pray for hours, just like Daniel in the bible. It is ok to start small. Start with short prayers, it doesn’t have to be long, gradually, you can increase the duration of time. It also shouldn’t be forced. If you feel satisfied after a few minutes of praying, it is fine to stop.
When Should We Pray?
While it is important to pray without ceasing, many people feel it is better to establish regular praying times as a way to uphold spiritual discipline. Some common times that have gradually become a Christian tradition are:
Morning prayer: It is very important for us to start our day with prayer. This has gradually become a common practice. It allows us to seek God, commit the day to him, and offer thanksgiving.
Mealtime prayer: As Christians, we all must at one point say a prayer before having our meals. This prayer is usually a gratitude to God for providing the food and also a way of acknowledging His blessings.
Evening prayer: It makes a lot of sense to end our day with prayer. It will also help us reflect on the events of the day, entrust our problems to God, and ask for forgiveness for our lapses.
Church gatherings: It is normal for Christians to come together for communal prayers. It could be during Sunday service, weekly service, group meetings, or prayer groups. These types of meetings give Christians a chance to pray together.
Most Christians take the book of Psalms 88:13 literally by praying in the mornings. Also, it is a good way to start the day, and it also helps us feel close to God throughout the day. But does it really matter if we pray in the morning? The answer is No. What really matters is that we pray every time without ceasing.
Prayer should not be based on a specific time, rather it should be based on situations. Here’s what I mean.
From the old testament in the bible, it was set as a precedent, like in 1 Chronicles 23:30, to pray in the morning and evening, like in the evening as seen in Psalms 55:16-17, “As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice”.
When we are thankful
We should pray to God when grateful for His blessings. Christians should always express gratitude through prayer. This is necessary because humans expect some form of gratitude when we do good. In the same way, God expects us to say thank you when he does something good for us. Scriptures that show instances of thanksgiving prayer are Ephesians 5:20, Philippians 4:6, and Daniel 6:10l.
In times of trouble
When facing challenges or in a situation that we have no control over, we should turn to God in prayers to give us strength and help us through. All through the scriptures, there are a lot of instances where prayer helped people in their time of need, from Joshua to David and Apostle Paul. God has not changed, he will continue to help us when we cry out to him.
When we remember God’s faithfulness
Any time we remember God and recognize his works and mercies, we ought to pray like in
Psalms 63: 4-7, “I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise. On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings”.
A good way to start your prayer is to let God know that you are grateful, and also appreciate his faithfulness. Depending on what he has done, you can also thank him for provision, love, guidance, and answered prayers.
Reaffirm your trust in God, and surrender to his faithfulness. Let Him know your fears, concerns, and desires. God is faithful to guide and provide. Ask God for the strength to trust him even when it seems like he is not listening.
Just as it says in Psalms 119:164, “seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws,” Christians ought to be prompt to pray as they wake up, before eating a meal, while getting ready for work, at work, and so on- they should not wait until challenges force them to pray. You can join others to pray if you find it challenging to pray alone. However, it helps to just pray without overthinking it.