If our time in the Word is the focus of the quiet time, our prayer time is the life, the vitality, and the fire of the quiet time. And in that prayer time we endeavor to pray the application of scripture into ourselves, believing that what God has promised us will come to pass. Thus, it is the time when we reach out to Him, as we internalize and personalize the Word, allowing it to take root.
But the prayer time is not only when we seek God, it is the time when He reaches out to us—when the Holy Spirit takes our hand and leads us to the throne of God. There God burns out our sin and warms our heart with His everlasting peace and joy and love.
As you begin your prayer time it is natural to pray over the words of scripture that God has already blessed you with. Then pour out your heart in praise and thanksgiving to Him, confessing your sins along the way as God reveals them to you.
Be careful that you are not, at first, consumed with petitions—for yourself or for others. The prayers of a quiet time should be mainly of praise, thanksgiving, and confession; if we are seeking God and His will, praise and thanksgiving, intermingled with confession of sin will be the natural course of prayer. Then as your heart is purified through prayerful meditation of the Word and through confession of sin, He will show you His heart and burden you with His requests, which will become your own. Too often we come to prayer with our list of wants without regard to what His will is. And we wonder why our prayers never get answered.
Now, in regard to the supplication prayers of your quiet time, and generally as you remain in prayer throughout the day for various concerns: believe that what you pray He will answer. Then as you go about your day be observant and watch for the answer. Too often we miss the answer, because, as Blackaby has suggested, we seldom relate anything that happens during the day to our praying. According to Blackaby, when we pray and then forget what we have prayed, when things start to happen during the day that are not normal we generally see them as distractions and try to get rid of them. We fail to connect them with what we have just prayed.
This is what Blackaby says he does: “When I pray, I immediately begin to watch for what happens next. I prepare to make adjustments to what begins in my life. When I pray it never crosses my mind that God is not going to answer. Expect God to answer your prayers, but stick around for the answer.”
Yes, it is so important to watch for the answer. I think I often miss His answers. They come in the general circumstances of life and I don’t even recognize it. We all need to be more watchful in prayer.
I want to suggest also that as you encounter trials, and things that baffle you, thank God for them because they will be used to increase your faith and build your Christian character (Ja. 1:2-3). As you persevere through these trials remain strong in prayer. The more difficult the trial the stronger and longer prayer is required. And if you have faith God will give you wisdom, which will help you to make sense out of the difficulties and to bring you to an understanding of what to do (Ja. 1:5). In addition to wisdom He gives grace, more than enough to heal your wounds, even to bring lasting peace and joy that passes all understanding.
This post is an excerpt from the book I a just finishing —Prayer A to Z. It is also included in the book Joy of Prayer, which is on my book page.