More than anything, prayer is about discipline and dedication. It takes discipline and dedication or perhaps commitment to be able to continue to pray sufficiently throughout every day and every situation that we go through. We are all unique; some find it easy to pray in good times, others in tough times, and however the true art is to be able to be consistent in all.
The more I have understood about my relationship with God, the more I have also understood marriage and vice versa. You are the bride of Christ; that is a marriage. For any relationship to thrive communication is essential.
Prayer is our communication with God, therefore we cannot forgo it no matter what if we want to maintain and build on a strong relationship. Many people would like to pray more, or perhaps feel the urge or need to but cannot make the time. That is very sad.
When communication is limited we begin to feel far from God, our relationship withers within us. He is a very consistent groom, therefore he will always speak to us, however we do not always make time to listen, let alone to respond. That is why it is important to set prayer times.
One of the greatest prayer warriors in the bible is Daniel. For Daniel to be able to maintain such an admirable prayer life he had to make a commitment, to make sacrifices. Daniel would have rather lost his life than lost prayer. He understood that through prayer he was in fact speaking to the giver of that life.
10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
The scripture above takes us to a time when King Darius had in fact put up an edict that forbade prayer. Not only did Daniel continue to pray, but he did it without any fear. Most importantly it shows us that Daniel prayed 3 times a day.
Understand that this was not a guy who had a lot of time on his hands, he had a lot of things to do in his daily life as a captive. When you set fixed prayer times you create a pattern that grows into a habit, which grows into a lifestyle.
There is no better lifestyle than that of prayer. It does not have to be 3 times, it can be more or perhaps less than that. Prayer like any communication is measured by its quality and not quantity.
How to go about setting prayer times
Unlike most of our spouses, God is that spouse that we are with through the entire day (awesome)!! You need to understand that it is essential to work together and remain on the same wavelength as we meander through each day.
At the start of the day is perhaps the most important time to have a set prayer time. This should ideally be done before the disturbance begin to come from other things. Praying before the start of the day sets you up for the day, it prepares you mentally. When you pray into your day, no matter what comes against you, you have comfort in knowing that you are walking with the Lord, and in the same wavelength.
The second prayer time should perhaps be in the middle of the day. At times you need that extra boost in your day when under a lot of pressure. Even on a very easy and casual day, prayer in the middle of the day should always done.
After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone,
One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.
Jesus was also a very prayerful man. The scripture above show one of his prayer times. This is perhaps the most common one among most Christians. I know I grew up in a household that prayed right before bed, that was a set prayer time. No matter what the day threw at her, my grandmother would not go to bed without praying. It was part of her lifestyle.
What about outside of these times?
Again think of it as you would in a marriage or in a fiery relationship. I remember a few years ago as a teenager, I would meet a girl and pursue a relationship of some sort. As that set sail, it was characterised by constant exchanges of messages throughout the day and punctuated by calls here and there and finally one last call at the end of the day.
I found that in no time, we would agree that we felt as though we had known one another a long while. That is how relationships grow, by investing time into one another. We are taught to pray without ceasing; therefore we ought to pray as we go through our day.
How to start?
Think about your daily schedule, and identify times which are open on a daily basis. Once you have these times write them down and create a permanent date with God every day at those times. Life will interrupt you at times, however as this transform from an act into a habit and finally a lifestyle, it will become easy to do.
I am married; do I do it with my spouse?
Once people are married, two become one. It is very important that you pray together. However your individual prayer time should never be substituted with your couple prayer time. You’ll have storms in your marriage; these will also after your prayer life, it may mean skipping them during moments after a disagreement.
You should have both couple and individual prayer times. At times it takes the wisdom of God’s bosom to mend the fences in a marriage after a spat. It is perhaps impractical to think that one can fit in all these fixed prayer times into a busy lifestyle, for those it may be worth making one of the 3 individual prayer times a couple’s prayer time.
1 Corinthians 7-8
7Yet I wish that all men were even as I myself am. However, each man has his own gift from God, one in this manner, and another in that.8But I say to the unmarried and to widows that it is good for them if they remain even as I. 9But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.…
Paul advised that individuals who were yet to marry could consider not getting married, as he had done. The reason behind this is that many of us lose our passion for God once we are married. Our attention becomes divided.
Your ministry, and your relationship with God should not be a strain to your ministry to your wife and family, that is not God’s will. He does not want for our spouses to be in competition with him for your attention. If you are married, I say double your efforts. If you can love God, you can love your wife even more. To conclude, setting prayer times cultivates consistency in prayer. Make a date with God, and keep it.
Prayer: Father I thank you for prayer, I thank you for just being there to listen and to pay attention to me. I adore you. I ask that you would guide me as I begin this journey of setting my prayer times. May our time together be of great quality in the name of Jesus. May I grow in Christ, in wisdom and in stature. Amen
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