Monday, June 24, 2013

Praying for One Hour




Prayer - courtesy photobucket.com

 
Our Pastor had requested volunteers to sign up for an hour of prayer, so that our church would be praying every hour around the clock.  We were asked to commit for one week.

I was only a teenager, and my prayers were for the most part, over my food, and at night naming all my family for God to bless.

My friend Elizabeth, who was a couple years older then me, suggested that we split an hour and each pray for half an hour.  That sounded simple and reasonable to me, so I said “Yes, how about the seven to eight in the evening?” 

So it was that we signed up to pray for half an hour daily, for the entire week.

Seven O’clock came around and I retreated to my bedroom.  Setting my clock on my dresser, I began. 

Time passed, and I opened my eyes, because surely my half hour must be up!  NO only five minutes had gone by.  Wondering to myself, I questioned how was I ever going to be able to do this?

Enlarge my vision was the answer.  I began to pray for the President, for Congressmen, Senators, Governors, the local mayor, the police department and other governments. 

Protection for our missionaries and their ministry came into view; my own pastor and each Sunday school teacher, and the leaders in my church.  Then I began to pray for my school teachers  that they might have wisdom in teaching us. 

By tomorrow, I knew that I might need some actual names instead of a blanket prayer.

It took some doing, but by the end of that week, I had been faithful to the assignment.

I haven’t prayed for an entire hour for some time, but this is my daily practice.  I seek to Commune with God all during the day; zoning my thoughts on His word and presence.

As someone comes to mind, I shoot up a prayer for them.  Paul calls this praying without ceasing. 
 
If someone is facing surgery, I pray that the surgeon will have skillful hands and that healing will be quick and without any problems.

At night, I again lift up those, mentioning names and their needs.

I am reminded when Jesus said, “Could you not pray with me for one hour.”

There may yet be times that we will want to, and need to pick up this challenge and set aside an entire hour, or more for prayer.

My suggestion is that we do not get into bondage, and lay a guilt trip upon ourselves because we may not always pray one hour.   
 
Be at peace with God and with yourself.

 
This post is Linked with Michelle’s Hear it on Sunday Use it on Monday
and also shared at: Tell Me a Story

8 comments:

  1. Prayer is something that I really struggle with whether for a few minutes here and there throughout the day or for a long period of time. My husband has been a huge encouragement to me. Praying with him has kept me accountable to pray daily!

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  2. "As someone comes to mind, I shoot up a prayer for them." I've been doing this for years now, as that is how I also understood Paul's instruction :)

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  3. Great lesson and that was no coincidence that the discipline of praying came to you early in life. How many lives have been blessed by the hand of God through your prayers? Thanks for the encouragement and example, Hazel.

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  4. Thank you Hazel for this encouragement. Prayer is hard work because it requires discipline, setting time aside and quieting the mind. But then again I just pray while I'm doing dishes, or driving etc. If I waited for the perfect time, I would never pray at all! Thanks again for the prompt to keep praying.

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  5. I rarely "officially" pray. BUT, in another way, my heart is always focusing Him and whatever He drops my direction. My main focus is simply to worship... and worship, and worship some more. He's the only answer to any issues, so that's what I rely upon.

    Good thinking, sharing.

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  6. Hazel, what a sweet story from your childhood. God's word is so true about letting the children come unto Him. Children have untainted hearts, usually, and approach the new call from God with a spirit of adventure. You have me thinking about my own youth and the stories that are there.
    Blessings, Janis

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  7. Hazel, I love your stories! You know, I can't tell you how many times the enemy has attacked me by saying I was a failure as a Christian because I'm not on my knees praying for great lengths of time. (He'll find anything to get at us, won't he???)

    But, I agree with you - the unceasing conversation that I have with God throughout my day is truly *prayer*. I think about my own children. Do I just want to hear from them when they have something "huge" to talk about? Do I just want the lengthy, serious conversations? No! I just want to hear from them - often. I think God is the same way - He just wants to hear from us...often!

    GOD BLESS!

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  8. Hazel, I loved this post. I can't tell you how many times the enemy has attacked me and told me that I was a failure as a Christian because I don't spend lengthy time on my knees in prayer. (He'll use anything to get at us, won't he?!)

    But I know that my constant conversation with God throughout my day is really *prayer*. I think about my own children. Do I just want to have the big, serious conversations with them? Do I only want to talk when we talk for a long time? NO! I just want to hear from them - often! I think God is the same way. He just wants to hear from us...OFTEN!

    GOD BLESS!

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