How much time do you spend in prayer in an average week? Does how long you pray even matter to God? Should we schedule and time our encounters with God? Is the quality of our prayer life connected to the quantity of prayer time?
We read in the Bible how long Moses spent in the presence of the Lord-forty days. We read of the discipline of Daniel’s prayer life – three times a day. We are told of the disciplined prayer life of Jesus – “He rose early before day”. We read of how long Jesus spent in prayer before He chose the first apostles-all night. We are told of how Jesus prayed the same prayer three times in the span of an hour – “Nevertheless not My will, but Thine be done”. All the greats, and of course, the greatest, lived with a structured and scheduled prayer discipline. They spent time with God.
Most of us were taught early in our Christian experience that “prayer is talking to God”. It is that and much more. Prayer is spending time in the presence of the Eternal. It is more than a conversation, it is a communion. Prayer requires more than words; it requires the devotion of time more than anything else. You will not pray if you don’t make time for God.
Most Christians don’t spend 30 minutes a week in private prayer. Think of that. How much is lost each week because too many believers are not prayer- developed? Why should we develop a prayer discipline? What is the urgency in training our souls to spend more time in the presence of the Lord?
The more time we spend in the presence of the Lord the more of eternity we experience. The eternal kingdom of God enters into time and our own experience when we are in prayer. “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done…” always happens first in prayer. Whenever we leave our times of prayer we should leave with a greater submission to the ways of God and more filled with His will. This is the true genius of prayer. Prayer can bring all of your life and times in sync with the eternal plans of God.
I want to encourage you to be an extraordinary believer. Pray thirty minutes a day instead of thirty minutes a week. The thirty minutes doesn’t have to be at the same time or in the same setting. The “Kingdom Prayer” that Jesus gives us in Matthew 6:9-13 provides the perfect pattern for a thirty minute daily encounter with God.
I will remind you that it is a pattern, a model, not a repetition or tradition. The goal is to have a time with God that is powerful and meaningful. The goal is never to fill the time. The goal is to have the time fill us. This means that we must not let our disciplines create pride or prejudice in us or against others. Our amount of time in prayer must not be used as a barometer or measurement of our spirituality, Our time in prayer is simply our manifest confession that we want and need more of God.
If you want to train your soul to pray thirty minutes a day begin with five (5) minutes of your focused prayer energy on one of the six principles of prayer Jesus teaches in the Kingdom Prayer.
“Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name”. Spend five minutes thanking and honoring God for being your Heavenly Father. Think of all the things that a good father wants for his child. Praise God for being your Great Provider and Protector. Study, meditate and declare the names of God and what they mean to your life.
“Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven”. Spend five minutes confessing your need to know and live the will of God. Pray for kingdom wisdom. Ask for the good, acceptable and perfect will of God to be done in your family. Pray for lost souls. Study and declare scriptures that specifically teach the wil of God.
“Give us this day our daily bread”. Spend five minutes seeking from God the equipment you need for your divine assignment. Your daily bread is different everyday. Ask the Father to give you what you need today to do His will. Praise the Father for the fresh bread He is baking just for you.
“Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors”. Spend five minutes appreciating the Father for His forgiveness and grace. Release the people whom have wounded you, offended you or wronged you. Ask the Father to help you forgive. Confess your known sins and claim the faithfulness and fairness of God to forgive you based on the finished work of the Cross.
“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”. Spend five minutes in spiritual warfare. Ask the Father to keep you from being distracted from your primary purpose in life. Acknowledge the evil that wishes to destroy you and those you love. Ask the Father to preserve your interests from the affects of evil. Declare your victory over all demonic devices and satanic strategies.
“For Thine is the kingdom, power and glory, forever. Amen.”. Spend five minutes acknowledging and honoring the greatness, grandeur and grace of the Father. Thank Him for your place in the kingdom of God. Praise Him for His sovereign spiritual authority over all heaven and earth. Praise Him for the outcome of His grace in your life. Always open and close each prayer in praise and adoration.