We sing the song “Sweet Hour of Prayer,” but then we start praying and wonder how on earth we can even make it through sweet 10 minutes of prayer. I want to thank my friend and fellow preacher Jeff May for showing me a great tool to organize our prayers and help us spend some real meaningful time with God.
Of course, let me first point out that you don’t have to pray for an hour for it to be legitimate. Prayer isn’t real because of the length. At the same time, many of us know there is so much more to be done in our prayer lives but when we finally hit our knees we get that deer-in-the-headlights feeling, we stammer something out and then spend the rest of the day thinking of other things we should have prayed for.
In those cases, don’t worry. When you think of them you can offer up a prayer right then. However, if you want to work on having some serious, in-depth, on your knees time try the PRAYER CLOCK approach.
An hour divides into 12 sections of 5 minutes. Think of 12 areas for which you want to pray and devote 5 minutes for each area. When you are done, you spent an hour in prayer. You don’t have to follow my list this is just for example purposes.
5 minutes of…
- Home congregation
- Elders and Deacons (Home congregation and others)
- Preachers (Home congregation and others)
- Other churches
- The lost and evangelism
- Special needs, sick, etc.
- Our nation (other nations)
You just spent an hour in prayer.
Granted, to make even 5 minutes in prayer for each topic, you probably want to start developing some lists. Make a list of special needs, elders, deacons, preachers, churches, things for which you are thankful, folks who are lost, etc. As you work on this, you’ll be surprised to find out that 5 minutes won’t be enough for some areas. You’ll have to come up with a plan for getting all these prayers in over the week.
In fact, come back next Monday to learn a plan for getting in all your prayers when you just have so much to pray for you can’t get it in all in one prayer session–even if you’re going for an hour.