How can I spend an hour in prayer?
Are you able to pray for an extended time without running out of things to say or falling asleep? One way to overcome these obstacles is to learn to delight in different types of prayer and to devote time on a regular basis to fellowshipping with God in these unique ways.
The following list presents a guide for spending one hour in prayer. It divides the time into twelve sections, allotting five minutes for each facet of prayer.
Begin by naming the names of God, thinking about His nature, praising Him, and delighting in Him and His work. “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name” (Psalm 100:4).
- Read Scripture
Read or quote a psalm of praise to the Lord. Pray through a psalm. Ask God to give you understanding as you read His Word. Let the Scriptures fill your mind and impact your heart. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (II Timothy 3:16–17).
- Meditate on God’s Word
Take time to meditate on the Scripture you have just read or on other passages that come to mind. “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. . . . I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways” (Psalm 119:11, 15).
Evaluate specific attitudes, thoughts, words, and actions that God brings to mind as you come before His throne of grace. Confess your sins to God and humbly ask for His forgiveness and cleansing. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9).
Beseech the Lord on behalf of others. Pray for revival in the hearts of believers. Pray diligently for the needs that come to mind. “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men” (I Timothy 2:1).
Wait before God in worshipful silence. Quiet your heart and be still before God. Ask God to speak to you through His Word. Listen. “Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. . . . The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty” (Psalm 29:2, 4).
- Record your prayers and insights
Keep a prayer journal. Write out prayers of worship, intercession, and petition. Write down the insights and direction God gives to you during your prayer time.
- Petition for daily needs
Bring your personal requests to God. “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7).
- Pray for the family
Pray for your family. Pray for families in general. Ask the Lord to strengthen marriages and uphold family relationships. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1).
- Pray for the Church
Pray for the unity and purity of believers, for those in your church, for your church leadership, and for the universal Body of Christ. “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. . . . Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular” (I Corinthians 12:12, 27). “The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it” (I Thessalonians 5:23–24).
- Pray for government leaders
Pray that God will give our leaders wisdom and understanding. Pray for local, national, and international concerns. “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. . . . For he is the minister of God to thee for good” (Romans 13:1, 4).
- Give thanks
Think about the good gifts God has given you and express your gratitude for His care and provision. Praise God for all that He has done and for all that He will do. “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (I Thessalonians 5:18).
“Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (Psalm 103:1–5).