Prayer When and How
If we would know the fullness of blessing in the prayer life, it is important not only that we pray in the right way but also that we pray at the right time. We note Christ’s example.
“And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed
into a solitary place, and prayed.”—Mark 1:35
Many of the mightiest men of God have followed the Lord’s example in this. In the morning hour when the mind is fresh, free from distraction, concentration is possible for effective praying. Here we get victory before the hour of trial and temptation.
“And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray,
and continued all night in prayer to God.”—Luke 6:12
Nights of prayer to God are followed by days of power with men. If we set apart the whole night for prayers, there will be no hurry; there will be time for our hearts to become quiet before God and for the mind to be brought under guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ prayed before all the great crises in His earthly life. He prayed before choosing the twelve disciples, before the Sermon on the Mount, before starting out on an evangelistic tour, before His anointing with the Holy Spirit and His entrance upon His public ministry, before announcing to the twelve His approaching death, before the great consummation of His life at the cross. He prepared for every crisis by a protracted season of prayer.
He also prayed after His great achievements and important crises.
When He fed the five thousand and the multitude wanted to make Him king, “he went up into a mountain apart to pray” (Matt. 14:23; John 6:15). So He went from victory to victory.
Jesus Christ gave a special time to prayer when life was unusually busy. The busier Christ’s life was, the more He prayed. Sometimes He had no time to eat (Mark 3:20), sometimes He had no time for needed rest and sleep (6:31,33,46), but He always took time to pray.
Jesus Christ prayed before great temptations of His life. He came “unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder” (Matt. 26:36).
The calm majesty of His bearing in meeting the awful onslaughts of Pilate’s judgment hall and of Calvary was the outcome of the victory of Gethsemane.
“Pray without ceasing” (I Thess. 5:17)
Our whole lives should be lives of prayer. We should walk so habitually in His presence that even when we awaken in the night, it would be the most natural thing for us to speak to Him in thanksgiving or in petition. —R. A. Torrey