How Often Should We Pray?

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Image by Humble Lamb. Adapted for Redemption of Humanity. Used under licence.

Last edited 21/Jan/2021

The Bible’s Answer

While it is good to set specific goals for ourselves, such as setting aside time to pray when we wake up and before we go to sleep, we should really make it our aim to pray as much as possible, whenever possible. The Bible says:

Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16‭–18

and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. (Ephesians 6:17–‬18a)

Here we are told that prayer must be done in the Spirit, that is, by the aid and power of the Holy Spirit, because he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God (Romans 8:26–27), and that it is the will of God for us to pray all the time.

How to Pray Without Ceasing

But how can we pray without ceasing? We can do this by making the effort to always keep Jesus at the centre of our hearts and minds, and to always make him our first priority in our daily lives. Prayer doesn’t have to be just done in words, during our quiet time that we’ve made for God, but it can and should be done in our thoughts as well. This way, we’re not only able to pray in our bedrooms privately, but we’re able to pray anywhere in our hearts. The Bible sums all this up in the following passage:

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:15–17)

By letting Christ’s peace and Word dwell in our hearts, and by doing everything in Jesus’ name, giving thanks to the Father through him, we will be in a constant state of communion with God, having the personal relationship that he desires to have with us, and living in accordance with his will. Sometimes we don’t think about God or ourselves as disciples of Christ, because we are too focused on our earthly affairs. But it’s a good idea to pray to God the moment he comes back into our thoughts, and give him our attention. Talk with him about what’s on your mind, give him thanks and praise, ask him for guidance, seek his wisdom, confess your sins and ask him for forgiveness, etc.

Conclusion

Remind yourself of God’s commandments and follow them. Remember that by serving others you are serving Jesus, your King (Matthew 25:34–40). Remind yourself of the peace that Jesus has bought for you by his sacrifice on the cross (Romans 5:1). If we pray like this regularly and live Christ-centred lives, we will grow in the faith and become more mature Christians. So, in addition to praying to God in the privacy of our bedrooms, we should make our whole lives an act of worship to the Lord. This is how we can pray without ceasing.

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