Jesus is her strength, in everything, and every day. She loves the Lord and is learning to love more.
What to Pray For?
There are no specific rules or requirements on what to pray as each individual has different, various needs. When I began praying at an early age, my parents taught me to pray for basic things like my family, education, church, and everyday blessings. It was like a routine, the same thing every day. As my relationship grew in the Lord, my prayer changed as well as the time it took me to pray each day. When I went through my teen years, I started telling God about everything; my feelings and needs. I also began praying for my country, for the nation, for the economic and political state of my country.
We can pray for our needs as well, like our financial needs and for specific answers, we’re waiting for. The Bible clearly says in Mathew 6:25, that men should not worry about “life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear” for the Father knows that we need them before we even go to Him! What should we pray for then? What else to ask besides our needs? Though all these are necessary, we should also bear in mind that our life revolves way beyond our earthly needs. It is needed, it is important, but what matters is the prayer for our spiritual growth.
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things (our earthly needs) will be given to you as well” – Matthew 6:33
This scripture specifically proves us the promise of God that he will indeed, bless us with everything we need and everything more if we seek His kingdom. Seeking his kingdom also means doing His will, leaving the worries of life unto His feet, and relying on Him for every need and wants. When we begin to focus our prayer and channel it in the way the Lord wants us to pray; by seeking his kingdom, that is to have a strong spiritual life, one that pleases him, our needs will be automatically blessed.
But actually, you can pray for anything and anything is everything. Certain events in the Bible show us how different people prayed for different things. Some gave thanks, some wanted their needs to be granted, some for protection, some for their nation, and many more.
Sometimes when I kneel in prayer, my heart is so heavy and burdened that no words come out but only tears. I used to think that prayers are only valid when you speak when you tell God about things. Soon, I started to feel God’s presence in the room even during the days I cry and sit silently. God doesn’t only listen to prayers, but also the unspoken words in our tears.
Psalm 56:8 says, “Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll- are they not in your record?”
Rephrased, this verse means that even tears are prayers when we have no words and they are recorded or heard by God. Many of my tears have been answered, and they’re always faster to receive a response from God as compared to the lengthy words I speak in prayers. This strengthens our faith as God fulfills his promise in Psalm 34:18 that “He is close to the broken-hearted”
Today, instead of focusing on my needs which are too much to be listed, I’ve begun to focus on a revival in my spirit and faith, to rise higher for the name of the Lord. By doing so, I witness God blessing me in all the things that I once prayed for and things that I don’t care for now, but had been a need once upon a time. All Glory to God alone!
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
— 1 John 5:14
When and Where to Pray?
This also has no limitations. We talk to people wherever and whenever. In the same way, we can talk to God anytime and anywhere we want. Going back to the Scripture, we see prophets of the Old Testament and disciples of the New Testament praying under various circumstances.
For example, Daniel prayed 3 times a day, while being in a foreign land (Daniel 6:10), Jesus prayed in the mountains, hills, and remote places at night when no one was around. Peter in Acts 10, was praying at noon on the roof of the house he stayed. The Bible tells us that you can pray anywhere even in prison, in the middle of the night, like Paul and Silas in Acts 16:25. Anywhere, literally.
Though anyone can pray anywhere, Jesus did remind us that the intention of our prayer should be for good and holy; only to talk to God and not for people to see. Jesus said, when you pray, go into your room and pray that your Father may see, in Matthew 6:6. Prayer in public should not be our primary way of communicating with God as it is only in dire need; like the instant requests. For example, when you are about to sit for an exam, you’re in the examination hall. You send up a quick prayer before beginning the exam, asking for God’s help. That is an example which I’ve been doing since forever, but bear in mind, that I would usually pray before leaving home for the exam in the morning. The short one in the examination hall is just to regain my hope and strength if that makes sense.
Sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night with nightmares. I’d be sweating and shivering at the same time because believe me, I have horrible nightmares. Most of them would be visions I see, all glory to God, or sometimes, warnings for me to tune my life in Christ. When I wake up that way, I would sit on my bed and pray. It wouldn’t take long, but enough to give me strength that God is with me and I have nothing to fear. Sometimes, if the nightmare requires me to pray for it, like praying for God’s protection against it, that I would do. This is a weapon my parents taught me as a child that I’m still holding on to.
But really, the time and place are not a limit.
Here is a bonus!
How long should I pray?
This is a question that I found an answer to just about recently from my pastor as we were discussing the topic. There is no specific time for prayer mentioned in the Bible, well, as far as I know. If anybody knows a scripture to it, please comment down below and share the knowledge with me. Let’s grow together.
But we can see that Jesus spent an hour each time his prayers are written in detail, like the prayer in Gethsemane. The other times such as the night prayers are not specified of the time except for “night till dawn”. According to my understanding, an hour would do, not to pray alone but to spend time with God.
In Matthew 26:40, Jesus said to the disciples, “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?”. It was taught to me that one hour is a requirement and you can go beyond if you want, but fulfill one hour not to pray alone, but to spend time with God. This one hour could include a half-hour of Bible devotion and a half-hour of prayer and worship or so. Of course, this may vary based on individual understanding.