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Thread: Prayer life

  1. #1
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    Prayer life

    I've heard of Christians that say they can pray for hours a day. I just don't see how they do that. I think the longest I have ever prayed to God was between 7-10 minutes in one sitting. I've asked God before to teach me how to pray so that I can sit down and pray for atleast an hour at a time. Has anybody here every prayed for more than an hour? If you have, how did you di this?

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    Re: Prayer life

    Quote Originally Posted by Punchy View Post
    I've heard of Christians that say they can pray for hours a day. I just don't see how they do that. I think the longest I have ever prayed to God was between 7-10 minutes in one sitting. I've asked God before to teach me how to pray so that I can sit down and pray for atleast an hour at a time. Has anybody here every prayed for more than an hour? If you have, how did you di this?
    Praying isn't always "praying" as in, "I spoke a prayer" for hours. Praying is time with God. Sometimes this time can be nothing but praying for a long time and other times... what about the listening? Prayer time is a conversation with God and if I'm doing all the talking, when does that give God a moment to speak in return?

    I have prayed for about an hour a few times in the past but this was because God put a very specific burden upon my heart and placed words on my lips and I prayed. For an example, I was burdened with a person in out church and I began to pray and the praying didn't end for about an hour. I called the pastor and informed him what the Lord had me pray about for the last hour or so and he acknowledged this and I hung up. A few hours later he called me and informed me that the person I was praying for had called him about 2 hours after I had called and spoke with him and pastor asked me if God planned on having me pray more for this person... I told him yes because since i had hung up with how I'd been writing in my journal concerning (journaling is a major part of my prayer time... when the Lord ministers to me, I write it all down) the person I was praying for and I informed the pastor of what the Lord was ministering to me. The pastor confirmed that all God had me pray about and what I was led to write according to what God was ministering to me is "exactly" what the situation was and the person had called the pastor about the situation. Long story short, God had me interceding for this person for 7 days. Well, six days because on day seven there was no more burden to pray, so I didn't pray for them. I noted this in my journal and then on Sunday, that person came up to me and informed me of a decision that they had made earlier in the week that was against God's will (I already knew this due to God informing me of this and the fact I was daily in prayer for this person) and that Friday, this person had humbled themself before God and surrendered. We talked and I read to them all that God had ministered to me and we prayed together.

    God is in control.

    So... if it's God's will that you do pray for hours, allow Him to use you. That hour may be nothing but you voicing a prayer. It may be a 7-10 minute prayer and then you listen, or He'll have to read specific scripture... there was allot of scripture involved with what I was led to write concerning this person. He may have you worship Him during the prayer time, praise Him for an hour or any combination of all this over an hour. Prayer time is personal time with God and it's not always you doing all the talking.

    ~Limitations in a Christian’s life are due to limited prayer and limiting obedience~

    ~Forgiveness has nothing to do with forgetting that moment... it's all about freedom FROM that moment.~


    ~Your needs activate God's compassion and faith activates God's power~

  3. #3
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    Re: Prayer life

    When you say " listen " to God speaking during prayer, do you mean just not saying anything at all and just waiting for him to speak? I've tried that many times after I got finished praying and I have never heard God speak to me that way.

  4. #4
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    Re: Prayer life

    Quote Originally Posted by Punchy View Post
    When you say " listen " to God speaking during prayer, do you mean just not saying anything at all and just waiting for him to speak? I've tried that many times after I got finished praying and I have never heard God speak to me that way.
    I didn't either for many years. I also asked God to teach me to pray and to listen to Him.

    For me, I had to set the "world" aside when I went into "prayer closet" mode. Seemed that my mind was always wandering, or even while in a prayer, I'd begin to think about other stuff. What helped me begin to focus and stop wandering around in thought as I prayed, I stopped praying silently. I began to pray out loud. This was hard in the beginning. There is a thread I'm sure that is archived since it's about 4 years old I bet, on this board about the topic of praying silently vs praying out loud. From this thread I did begin to pray more out loud and I was able to focus more. While praying silently back then, my mind would begin to wander to usually events during the day and/or events planned for tomorrow. However, praying out loud help me to stop this from happening. When I pray out loud, my mind isn't wandering, or doesn't as easily.

    I also began to do worship and praise BEFORE I went into the actual praying during the pray time that I had set aside to be with God. Worship brings in the presence of God and sometimes during worship I'd be reduced to a sobbing snot dripping lump on the floor, face down and staining the carpet in those tears and snot. Once I was in God's presence, praying was natural and I didn't even know the time or how long I was in actual prayer. Sometimes while worshiping I'd just remain silent and all the worship and praise was from my heart and no words spoken. Other times... praise, honor, and glory in acclimation to God was voiced, hands raised in surrender to God.

    It was a process of learning and this wasn't an over night learning experience either. I have been led by God TO pray silently. I have been led to praise Him out loud and then when I get to specific parts of prayer, then to go silent and then onto another topic but this one is prayed out loud. I have been led to pray on my knees, or flat on the floor face down, sitting, while driving, while on a prayer walk, while working etc. Praying hasn't always been in "prayer closet" mode.

    I pray this helps some... ask questions as I'm sure others will post as well.

    ~Limitations in a Christian’s life are due to limited prayer and limiting obedience~

    ~Forgiveness has nothing to do with forgetting that moment... it's all about freedom FROM that moment.~


    ~Your needs activate God's compassion and faith activates God's power~

  5. #5
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    Re: Prayer life

    You don't need to pray to God in long periods at a time to have an effective prayer life, just speak from the heart, let your spirit do the talking and let your spirit guide your prayers.
    Every temptation is of the devil, and every sin leads to death.

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    Re: Prayer life

    Quote Originally Posted by Slug1 View Post
    Worship brings in the presence of God and sometimes during worship I'd be reduced to a sobbing snot dripping lump on the floor, face down and staining the carpet in those tears and snot.
    Slug1 you are an absolute delight and an encouragement! I am so glad to hear that I'm not the only one around who is reduced to a balling snuffling wreck when in God's breath-taking presence... I personally thank God for waterproof mascara!...much of my life would be spent wandering around looking like a puffy-eyed panda if not for this neat stuff! It's not so bad in the privacy of my own home but He often touches me so deeply that I just can't help myself in public... Scheeech... In fact yesterday in Church worship I all but went to pieces...oh His presence was just so sweet and overwhelming...my heart sings and the flood gates open...my face flooded with tears there I am just singing and sobbing my little heart out...why fight it huh?

    Treasured

  7. #7
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    Re: Prayer life

    Quote Originally Posted by Punchy View Post
    I've heard of Christians that say they can pray for hours a day. I just don't see how they do that. I think the longest I have ever prayed to God was between 7-10 minutes in one sitting. I've asked God before to teach me how to pray so that I can sit down and pray for atleast an hour at a time. Has anybody here every prayed for more than an hour? If you have, how did you di this?
    Hey Punchy!

    This really is a great topic...and one that most Christians benefit hugely from when they really consider how their prayer lives might become richer and more full of life and passion.

    There are so many things we can consider when coming to God in prayer...first and foremost though we must be encouraged and believe that He adores for us to come to Him and speak with Him and listen for His voice and His heart...He is our loving Father and He so loves to connect with His kids...so...we can come to Him to meditate on Who He is as revealed in Scripture and in our lives...we can just spend time considering His beauty and majesty and creativity and grace and kindness and be led to thank Him for being such a wonderful and loving God and Father...we can highlight specific things that just touch our hearts so powerfully or tenderly and tell Him all about this...we might come to Him to talk about ourselves and our own lives and ministry or that of others...we might come in praise and thanksgiving for all He may have done in us and through us or for and in others...we can talk to Him about our families, specific individuals and their needs, our own needs and issues, maybe that of our community or our nation, our governments and any in authority around us...we can mull over Scriptures and 'speak' or confess or declare them over our lives and over the lives of others...we can just tell all about what's going on in our lives right now and tell Him how we feel about it all...we can thank and worship Him for always being with us and ask for Him to guide our steps in specific (all!) situations...we can pray on behalf of others who are facing trials and challenges or illnesses or heartbreaks of any kind...and as Slug1 says we can sing and worship, write and journal, speak out loud or silently...in any combination...or we can trust and believe for God to clearly and lovingly 'speak' into our hearts and share His thoughts on a matter...I personally find journaling to be awesome...God has recently been using my journaling very powerfully to speak love and encouragement and direction into my life...just soaking in some great worship music can be absolutely amazing to lead us into God's presence and just to 'commune' with Him...

    Regarding God's speaking to you Punchy...ask Him...simply...ask and trust that He will reveal Himself in whatever way He knows you will hear...and trust that as you seek Him He will lead you by His Holy Spirit into a rich and rewarding prayer life...He is very faithful and compassionate and I guarantee you that He loves for you to hear His voice and know His heart...He is your Good Shepherd and you are His beloved sheep...you know His voice...you just need to become familiar with it...'tune in' to His wavelength so to speak...

    Learning and practicing the 'art' of prayer isn't always 'easy' as there can be many distractions in our lives and often we would perhaps 'rather' go do something else...but if we will keep bringing ourselves back to that place of communion with Him...gently but purposely...and without any condemnation when we miss times of prayer for whatever reason...we will find ourselves actually hungering to spend time with Him and yearning to share our deepest thoughts and concerns...and hungering to hear His voice and know His thoughts on any matter we care to raise...and we will come to a place where we know that we know that time spent with Him is worth riches beyond compare...and more life-sustaining than the air we breathe...and yes we can even come to a place of intimate friendship with God...imagine!...friendship with the God of all Heaven and Earth! If we will sow our time and our hearts into Him...He will sow His time and His heart into us...it's all about the 'measure we use'...try and see...you will not be disappointed!

    God bless you Punchy...richly and abundantly...and powerfully in all areas of your life.

    Treasured

    PS there are multitudes of great books and resources out there on prayer...a few suggestions I would offer are 'The Power of a Praying Life' by Stormie Omartian, 'Lord Teach Me to Pray in 28 Days' by Kay Arthur and a very recent little book based on the movie 'Letters to God' called 'Prayer: Your Own Letter to God' by Andre Dugger. Regarding hearing God's voice, 'The Power of a Whisper' by Bill Hybels is pretty solid as well as 'Discerning the Voice of God' and 'He Speaks to Me' both by Priscilla Shirer.

  8. #8
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    Re: Prayer life

    Quote Originally Posted by Treasured View Post
    Slug1 you are an absolute delight and an encouragement! I am so glad to hear that I'm not the only one around who is reduced to a balling snuffling wreck when in God's breath-taking presence... I personally thank God for waterproof mascara!...much of my life would be spent wandering around looking like a puffy-eyed panda if not for this neat stuff! It's not so bad in the privacy of my own home but He often touches me so deeply that I just can't help myself in public... Scheeech... In fact yesterday in Church worship I all but went to pieces...oh His presence was just so sweet and overwhelming...my heart sings and the flood gates open...my face flooded with tears there I am just singing and sobbing my little heart out...why fight it huh?

    Treasured
    One thing I have learned from this as well, in the position as an elder in the church God has me serving at... all have witnessed me sobbing openly before the entire church at times. What this has done is give others freedom to allow themselves to cry openly as well. I pray for many at the altar or even in the pews when I am led and when I need prayer, even as an elder, I go straight to the altar when an altar call is called. I always try to get there quick so I can be free to go to others. I receive prayer, tears flow (not snot as much since I'm not on my face, hahaha) and when I've received the prayer I was in need of, I'm back at it, praying for others. Or, when all have been prayed for and then I go to the pastor usually or another who I may request prayer from and I slap at my chest. That is the hand and arm signal I do and that means, pray for me now. Most in the church recognize that signal now

    I've had people walk right up to me and when I hug them, they cry on my shoulder for as long as they want. It's a way that God has allowed others to just let go and when they need that release, I'm there for comfort, encouragement and prayer. No need to say sorry for the mess on my shirt because now everyone knows I don't care. I'd roll in a mud puddle in a shirt and tie (I don't wear suits) if it meant helping another and when I stood in the church all dirty from that... everyone would understand. Just me I guess... God leads, I follow and I just do as He wills me to do.

    ~Limitations in a Christian’s life are due to limited prayer and limiting obedience~

    ~Forgiveness has nothing to do with forgetting that moment... it's all about freedom FROM that moment.~


    ~Your needs activate God's compassion and faith activates God's power~

  9. #9
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    Re: Prayer life

    Quote Originally Posted by Slug1 View Post
    One thing I have learned from this as well, in the position as an elder in the church God has me serving at... all have witnessed me sobbing openly before the entire church at times. What this has done is give others freedom to allow themselves to cry openly as well. I pray for many at the altar or even in the pews when I am led and when I need prayer, even as an elder, I go straight to the altar when an altar call is called. I always try to get there quick so I can be free to go to others. I receive prayer, tears flow (not snot as much since I'm not on my face, hahaha) and when I've received the prayer I was in need of, I'm back at it, praying for others. Or, when all have been prayed for and then I go to the pastor usually or another who I may request prayer from and I slap at my chest. That is the hand and arm signal I do and that means, pray for me now. Most in the church recognize that signal now

    I've had people walk right up to me and when I hug them, they cry on my shoulder for as long as they want. It's a way that God has allowed others to just let go and when they need that release, I'm there for comfort, encouragement and prayer. No need to say sorry for the mess on my shirt because now everyone knows I don't care. I'd roll in a mud puddle in a shirt and tie (I don't wear suits) if it meant helping another and when I stood in the church all dirty from that... everyone would understand. Just me I guess... God leads, I follow and I just do as He wills me to do.
    I adore you already Slug1...what a pillar in His house you are...how He delights in your compassionate heart...and when we meet in Heaven...if not before...permit me to book a cry on your shoulder?...mine will be tears of joy and gratitude for the amazing and very wonderful God we serve...for His gift of love and joy and peace and restoration... His truth, His infinite love, His grace and mercy and the wonderful power-working blood of His precious Son have truly set me free!

    God bless you Slug1...you may or may not be doing the hand and arm and chest thing right now...but here is a prayer just for you from me...may our Great and Mighty King, the Great I Am, anoint you richly for battle, fill you abundantly with fire and soak you tenderly in His glorious presence...just for starters!...in Jesus' Name!!!

    Treasured

  10. #10
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    Re: Prayer life

    Quote Originally Posted by Punchy View Post
    I've heard of Christians that say they can pray for hours a day. I just don't see how they do that. I think the longest I have ever prayed to God was between 7-10 minutes in one sitting. I've asked God before to teach me how to pray so that I can sit down and pray for atleast an hour at a time. Has anybody here every prayed for more than an hour? If you have, how did you di this?
    The Lord's Prayer lasted less than a minute.

    Matt 6:7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.
    Matt 6:8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
    Matt 6:9 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
    Matt 6:10 ​​​​​​​​Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
    Matt 6:11 ​​​​​​​​Give us this day our daily bread,
    Matt 6:12 ​​​​​​​​and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
    Matt 6:13 ​​​​​​​​And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

    Some of my prayers are less than a minute, not because of rushing through them, but because God knows the heart. Some are longer because I have more things to pray about, but never an hour.

  11. #11
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    Re: Prayer life

    Quote Originally Posted by RockSolid View Post
    The Lord's Prayer lasted less than a minute.

    Matt 6:7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.
    Matt 6:8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
    Matt 6:9 Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
    Matt 6:10 ​​​​​​​​Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
    Matt 6:11 ​​​​​​​​Give us this day our daily bread,
    Matt 6:12 ​​​​​​​​and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
    Matt 6:13 ​​​​​​​​And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

    Some of my prayers are less than a minute, not because of rushing through them, but because God knows the heart. Some are longer because I have more things to pray about, but never an hour.
    AMEN! A point that all Christians should understand is that prayer is "worship". Any communication with God is to invite in His presence and for adoration to fill us. When we get to church we can worship as in singing, dancing and praising God for a loooooonng time but when it comes to prayer, we open the service in a short prayer, we may do a short prayer during the service, the altar call is a bunch of short prayers and then we end the service in a short prayer... what if God wanted nothing BUT prayer during a service?

    The Bible shows us that there are times to pray and in these times, they can be long or short. How long did Jesus pray in the garden? How long did the Body of Christ pray for the Apostles at various times, Peter in particular when an angel was sent in answer to the long intercession prayers for Peter and Peter was busted out of jail?

    "Lord, help me" is a POWERFUL prayer, as is, "Lord, thank you."

    We all need to allow God to lead prayer, He knows what we need better than what we may feel we need. A moment in a prayer or a day in fasting and prayer... just allow God to be in control.

    ~Limitations in a Christian’s life are due to limited prayer and limiting obedience~

    ~Forgiveness has nothing to do with forgetting that moment... it's all about freedom FROM that moment.~


    ~Your needs activate God's compassion and faith activates God's power~

  12. #12

    Re: Prayer life

    Quote Originally Posted by punchy
    When you say " listen " to God speaking during prayer, do you mean just not saying anything at all and just waiting for him to speak? I've tried that many times after I got finished praying and I have never heard God speak to me that way.
    In my earlier days as a believer, I have attempted to "pray" for an
    hour a day and found that it was a complete waste of time. Why?
    Because I was making the mistake a lot of people make whereas I
    was doing all the talking. God couldn't get a word in edgewise
    even if He tried.

    Some prayers got answered and some didn't. It was hit or miss
    and I had no idea why. With a little perseverance, my prayer
    life has developed considerably and I integrate Him into my
    entire day instead of just an hour. This is how I pray without
    ceasing. (I Thess 5:17)

    I read a book that described prayer perfectly and stated that
    it's a link between lovers. A time of intimately sensing each others
    presence. It's a treasuring to want to be together constantly.
    A feasting on each others love so that we can share whatever
    is on our hearts.

    Develop a relationship like this, and you will be able to hear God
    clearly. I also journal and suggest you should start as well. It
    will really open you up by presenting your heart and mind to God.
    Simply start by expressing how much you want to get to know
    Him and explain why you desire a relationship with Him. Focus
    on Jesus as you write and after a few pen strokes, you will notice
    your writing sort of takes on a life of its own that's led by the
    Holy Spirit.

  13. #13
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    Re: Prayer life

    Here's my two cents

    Paul instructs believers to pray without ceasing. I think the Lord is pointing us to something deeper; we are to be connected with him at all times. To the best of my understanding prayer is whenever you are ready to hear him, are bringing all things (good and bad) before him, and actively submitted and connected with him. It is possible to do this without ceasing, though I haven't for very long at all

    That's my understanding of it: prayer is to turn your heart towards the Lord in all things and with all things, it can be done anythime, anywhere, all the time...
    That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,


    Earnestly contending for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints

  14. #14

    Re: Prayer life

    I affirm all that has been said and above and would add simply this: there are many forms of communion with God. Prayer through petition (speaking to God), quietly listening to God through contemplation (spiritual discipline), meditation (spiritual, prayer), mediation upon a passage of Scripture (read it several times and then quietly listen for His voice in it, new insights, etc.), corporate worship, Bible Study, Sunday School, singing praise, simple adoration in a still place (praising God for His goodness), all of these are ways to grow and commune with God.

    We have got to move past our guilt for not praying long enough and often enough and turn every moment of the day into an opportunity to worship God. That's what doing all things as unto the Lord is all about. We've got to move beyond a works based Pharisaic understanding of prayer and worship into a grace-based approach to knowing God. This is a contemplative practice for every moment. It takes time to grow in this and to the extent that we do, we will find God's presence in every area and every moment of our life.

    He saved us, we are not saving ourselves through our work. The same applies to this. He called us, loved us; fellowship and growth requires an act of our will to step in God's direction but it remains a work of grace - all grace all the time for the believer whom God has saved. Its not about how much we pray, but how much an attitude of constant connection to God is reflected in our lives that produces growth.

    Some people like to put their piety on display and talk about how spiritual they are because they pray an hour every morning. The real evidence of a life of connectedness to God is peace, patience, love, joy, hope... et. al.

    This Wikipedia article touches on perhaps the most well known practitioners of this way: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brother...nce#His_method

    I would highly recommend the documented message of his life, "The Practice of the Presence of God." You can get a print copy pretty cheap online and here is a link to a free e-pub version of it. http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/13871/pg13871.txt

    Another author who is a great resource in this area is Jean Pierre de Caussade: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Pierre_de_Caussade

    His work is available online as well. My former Pastor while I was entering the ministry also has some great resources in this area. Dr. Greg Boyd: http://www.gregboyd.org/books/presen...now-paperback/
    The Pastor's Study
    “The easiest way to keep a broken vessel full is to keep the faucet constantly running.” – DL Moody

  15. #15
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    Re: Prayer life

    I don't think it is necessary to pray for that long. God knows your heart!
    For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast
    www.BibleStudyTools.com

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