5 Best Times to Pray
This is something I struggled with: confidence in my prayer life. I absolutely have confidence in God’s ability to answer. No, my struggle was with feeling as though I was making use of prayer the way He intends. Do you ever struggle with that?
Most days, my prayer is an ongoing one. I wake up talking to Him – thankful for the day, thankful for the opportunity to bring glory to Him, asking for help as I begin, praying for the girls as they start their day, for my hubby as he goes off to work, etc. It’s a stream of consciousness. He is right there and I am very aware.
BUT, reading in scripture, there are some examples of those who gave designated time and FOCUS (my word of the year) to their prayer time. I am studying to learn more about prayer, so that my prayers may be more effective (Jam. 5:16). In my study so far, I have found some examples of focused prayer. I’d like to share some that I have grouped into these five best times to pray:
1.) Morning, Noon, and Night
- Daniel 6 records the incident of Daniel being put into the lion’s den. What put him into the lion’s den was his commitment to prayer “three times a day”.
- In Psalm 55:16, David shares that he takes his troubles to God “evening and morning and at noon” and knows God will hear his voice.
- The writer of Psalm 119 makes reference to getting up at midnight (Ps. 119:62), rising before dawn (Ps. 119:147), and offering praise “seven times a day” (Ps. 119:164).
- Jesus got up “in the early morning” to pray (Mk. 1:35) and He spent all night in prayer before choosing His twelve apostles (Lk. 6:6-16).
- Peter and John went to the temple at the “hour of prayer” (Acts 3:1).
A best time to pray is any specific time of the day one gives to prayer – for any reason.
2.) When We are Thankful
- Philippians 4:6 tells us to give thanks in everything “by prayer and supplication” as our way to let “requests be made known to God.”
- In the example of Daniel, after reading the decree that would condemn him, he went back to his room and “gave thanks” before God (Dan. 6:10).
- Jesus gave thanks for the food when He fed 4,000 plus people (Mt. 15:36) and when He partook of the bread and the fruit of the vine (Mt. 26:26-27).
- Paul gave thanks for the food while shipwrecked in the Adriatic sea (Acts 27:35)
- offering praise by giving thanks to God (Heb. 13:15)
Ephesians 5:20 says, “always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father”.
So we can pray when we are thankful. It is easy to pray our thanks to God when we have it. But we should also work to ALWAYS be thankful for all things – and then express that often in prayer. Reminding ourselves to be thankful for all things all the time, is harder.
3.) When We are Needing Strength
- Psalm 22:19-21 is part of David’s prayer to God to deliver the support He promises those who love Him.
- Psalm 28:6-9 is part of another Psalm of David’s, in it he acknowledges that God is his strength and his shield and gives thanks for it.
- In Psalm 17 David knows God will hear his prayer and in this prayer David recognizes that keeping to God’s ways has provided protection and asks for that protection to continue.
- Psalm 23 speaks of the loving care and protection that comes from the Lord.
- In Philippians 4:10-13 Paul expresses how he finds his strength through the Lord and because of it he can suffer anything that comes in the name of the gospel.
- Paul speaks of God’s comfort when he was depressed (2 Cor. 7:6-7).
4.) When Others Have Needs
- James 5:16 “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
- Paul asked for brethren to pray for him and his companions as they spread the gospel for the Lord (1 Thess. 5:25)
- John prayed that the brethren would prosper in all respects – physical things and good health to the same degree that their souls prospered (3 Jn. 2)
- Paul often prayed for the spiritual and physical well-fare of the brethren (Eph. 3:14-19; Phil. 2:19-30; 2 Cor. 13:7-9; 2 Thess. 1:11)
- Pray when others are ill (James 5:14; 2 Sam. 12:16-23).
5.) When Recognizing God Around You
- Psalm 8 recognizes God’s majesty based on what David saw in the creation around him.
- Psalm 9:1-2 “I will give thanks to the Lord will all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders. I will be glad and exult in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.”
- Psalm 106:1 gives thanks for His mercy.
- Psalm 107:8 gives thanks for His goodness and for His wonderful works.
The conclusion is the best times to pray are ANYTIME and we should be praying ALL of the time.
1 Thessalonians 5:16 says quite simply, “pray without ceasing”. The author of Psalm 119 says, ” seven times a day I praise You, because of Your righteous ordinances” (Ps. 119:164) and then He says in Psalm 119:62 that he rises at midnight to offer thanks. One who belongs to the Lord can approach Him with confidence to pray for needs to be met, ours and others, pray for strength, give thanks for all things, and to offer praise for all the things He has done. Do not hold back. Do not wait for a better time. Just. Pray. Thinking about it too much is thinking too much about self. I need to remember to get out of my own way and just freely PRAY.
Share your struggles and successes with prayer in the comments. I’d love to learn what others do to keep speaking to the Lord as a priority.
PS – when I was working on being more focused in my prayer time I designed a prayer journal to help me. If you’d like to try it for your own prayer time, you can find it here – A Diligent Woman’s Prayer Journal