Let’s say you agree that you need more prayer; that it would be good to have some extended, special prayer time. How do you go about it? Here are six steps to follow:
1. Establish personal reasons and begin to form some ideas.
In a previous blog we have already discussed some very good reasons why extended prayer times are necessary. But each of us ought also to have personal reasons. And then, from those we can start thinking about what type of special prayer is needed.
So first of all, let us search our heart to find out where we are at and what we need. Or maybe we don’t know what we need; that is the problem and we require answers. At any rate, the first thing to do is to set some goals. If you can’t think of what you really need or what God desires of you, just set some very general goals like: to see God and His ways; or, for God to show me what He wants me to do.
But perhaps you do have some very specific goals. You may want to hear from God concerning your vocation or a college to attend. You may need guidance concerning a mate. Or maybe your goal is just to have more time to pray for your children or for some friends.
Now, in accordance with your personal reasons for prayer, you should be able to come up with some ideas about what this special prayer time should look like. Here are two things to consider: the amount of time you require in prayer, and the place of prayer. I would suggest a time of at least two or three hours. To be classified as special prayer you need at least that long (but that’s up to you). If you think you have a lot more to pray about, or if it will take longer to meet your goals, you may want to plan for a whole day; or maybe, if you can find the time, for a whole week. Wouldn’t that be great!
For the two or three hour plan I would suggest a walk in the park, or maybe spend the time in a boat (but that’s up to you). If you have your heart set on a week, I think a cabin in the woods would be ideal—or a cabin on a lake, with a boat! You may want to think also about having regular extended prayer times, and to start thinking about how often you would want to have them.
2. Set the time and place.
It is not enough to think about and set goals for prayer. You must actually start making your plans, set the time and place, and make the necessary arrangements. If you want to spend a week in prayer at a cabin, you will need to make the arrangements to make sure you can get the cabin. And you should also make sure you can get a week off from work. I really like the idea of planning regular times of special prayer, whether it’s once a month, every 6 months, or once a year. It will be something for you to look forward to. Write those dates on your calendar. Give special priority to those times.
Next post: Step 3. Know how to prepare your heart for prayer and how to respond to God’s call to pray.