“Pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
“All that a Christian does, even in eating and sleeping, is prayer…” – John Wesley
How much time should we spend in prayer? Sometimes, people strive to be spiritual and pray a lot, but they disappoint themselves when they are unable to fulfill their prayer goals. They tell themselves, “I am going to get up every morning at 5:30 and pray for two hours every day.” The next morning the alarm rings and they turn over and sleep until it is time to go to work. In the midst of taking time for our family, studying, working jobs, and recreation it is often difficult to find the time to pray.
Smith Wigglesworth regularly saw unbelievable miracles occur in his services and many people were raised from the dead under his ministry. Someone once asked him how much time he prayed each day. This man wanted to know the secret to Wigglesworth’s success. He probably wanted to discover the magic number of hours Wigglesworth spent in prayer each day. Wigglesworth surprised the man by saying, “I never pray for more then fifteen minutes at a time. . . but I never go more then fifteen minutes without praying.” In other words, Wigglesworth had a continual relationship with God.
Someone once pointed out, “It is better to pray a little bit a lot, then it is to pray a lot a little bit.” Is it better to take a girl out on one big date, or is it better to spend every waking moment with her? God wants us to be aware of Him all the time and to consult Him about the little details of our lives.
This does not mean we should forsake setting aside a specific time to pray. It may be helpful to make an appointment with God and to write it down in your Day Timer. But, even if you spend a set amount of time praying each day, do not forget about God the rest of the time.
Since I heard the story about Smith Wigglesworth, I have tried to mentally remind myself of God’s presence every fifteen minutes. Everyone has a lot of time that can be used for prayer. We can pray on the way to work or while waiting in line at the post-office or while we take a shower in the morning. Instead of beating yourself up trying to set aside time to spend with God, allow Him to come and spend time with you while you do your everyday activities. I exhort you to “Pray continually.” This is what it means to make God the center of your life!
Check out Daniel King’s book: The Power of Prayer