PART 3 PRAYER

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 7:15am

PART 3 PRAYER

CHAPTER 3

When, How Often, and for How Long Should We Pray?

Should prayer be mandatory? Should there be a specified amount of time that each of us should set aside each day for prayer? Is there a particular time when believers should pray?

     Some churches believe that prayer should be mandatory. Certain times of the week are designated for corporate prayer. In some instances, these gatherings are segregated. There are some believers, who pray for many hours each day, while others are not so inclined. There are those who use prayer as a measuring stick that signifies how spiritual each person is in the assembly. The more one prays the more spiritual they are considered to be.

     All of these questions should be looked into so that we are not caught off guard when another believer or someone in leadership tells us that we must pray at a certain time, so often, for so long, and at a certain place. We should know what the scriptures say in this regard.

     We will begin by looking at the Jewish day by finding out what was each day’s name or description along with how were the times within each day described. Why is this important to know? This is important to know because in the early church the description of each day along with the times within each day were referred to according to the Jewish perspective. But we will not stop here. I will also introduce the Roman way of naming their days along with how the times within each day were described. After each has been introduced, I will they try to put them together so that as you read about when prayer took place you will understand it according to both systems of time.

 

A.   Contrasting the Jewish and Roman day:

The Jews referred to the days of the week as the first of the week (of the Sabbath cycle, the second of the Sabbath cycle, etc.). The seventh day was known as the Shabat (Sabbath), the day of rest. The Sabbath began at approximately 40 minutes after sunset, when a minimum of 3 stars were able to be seen in the sky, which would be considered to begin at the close of the sixth day. Each of these days began and ended at sunset. The first day of the week is the day following the Sabbath, beginning at sunset17.

Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.

     Another thought to consider is how the Jews talked about the various times within each day. According to Acts 3:1, they would describe a particular time as “the ninth hour”. What does the ninth hour mean? It means the ninth hour after dawn (sunrise). There were 12 hours in the Jewish night beginning at sunset and 12 hours in the Jewish day beginning at sunrise.

     When we look at passages of scripture in the New Testament which refer to morning, evening, first day of the week, etc. we need to understand that each of these words need to be interpreted according to the Jewish perspective. What further complicates this is the fact that the Romans had a different way to describe not only the names of their days, but the times within each day along with when their days began and ended. Let’s take a look at the Roman description of their days and after which we will attempt to combine both perspectives.

     The Romans adopted their days of the week from their mythical gods. Saturday was named after Saturn, the god of crops and harvest, and was initially considered the first day of the week. The second day of the week was called Sunday, which was considered as a day sacred to the sun. The third day and so on is as follows: Monday was named because it was sacred to the moon. Tuesday was named after Tiw, a god of war. Wednesday was named after Woden, the leader of the gods. Thursday was named after Thor, the god of thunder. Friday was named after Frigga, the wife of Woden18. Each of these days began and ended at midnight19. As the worshiping of the Sun increased, the Sun's day (Sunday) advanced from position of the second day to the first day of the week (and Saturday became the seventh day20).

     It was not until Christianity took hold throughout Europe that most calendars marked Sunday as the first day of the week21. It is a little-known fact among most Christians, that the Romans first adopted the seven-day week in the first century and that they borrowed it not from the Jews, but from the Egyptians22. Time within each day was designated as either being am (before noon for up to a period of 12 hours) or pm (after noon for up to a period of 12 hours).

     As best we can, let’s try to mesh these two perspectives together.

     For the Jew, the ninth hour meant an hour beginning at the 9th hour after dawn (sunrise) and lasting for one hour. For the Romans, this would mean beginning at 3:00pm and ending at 4:00pm. Dawn (sunrise) would be equivalent to 6:00am. Sunset would be equivalent to 6:00pm. If time refers to the night then the Jewish wording for this would be something like the third hour of the night. The third hour of the night would be equivalent to 9:00pm or three hours after sunset. Another way for the Jews to talk about the night times would be to describe three-hour periods of time using certain words such as:

Sunset (6:00pm) to the third hour (9:00pm) – First Watch

(9:00pm) to the sixth hour (midnight) – Second Watch

Midnight to the ninth hour (3:00am) – Third Watch

(3:00am) to sunrise – Fourth Watch

     The Jewish night would be from sunset (6:00pm) to dawn (6:00am). The Jewish day would be

described as being from dawn (6:00am) to sunset (6:00pm). The Jewish Sabbath, the 7th Day, would be from sunset (6:00pm) to sunset (6:00pm) or from Friday (6:00pm) to Saturday (6:00pm). For example, if scripture said that Jesus went to pray in the evening, this would tell us that he went to pray sometime from 6:00pm until 6:00am. This doesn’t necessarily mean that he prayed for this entire time, but that he prayed during this time frame.

 

B.   When, how often, and for how long did Jesus pray?

We will begin by taking a look at the life of Jesus in regard to prayer. Will we be able to determine that he prayed only during certain times (e.g. morning, afternoon, evening) or that he prayed for a specific period of time or that he prayed for a certain number of times each day? Hopefully, what we find out will help us in our own walk with God.

 

Jesus Prayed Following the Miracle of the Five Loaves and Two Fishes

When the evening was come:

Suggested Reading: Matthew 14:13-25

John the Baptist had just been killed by Herod. Jesus after having heard about this departs into a desert place. However, when the people found out about where He had gone to, they followed him there. When they arrived Jesus not only had compassion on them and healed their sick, but said to the disciples to feed them.

     His disciples responded by saying that they only had five loaves and two small fishes on hand. Jesus took the loaves and while looking up to heaven blessed them and then handed them to his disciples, who took their share, and passed the rest around to the multitudes. Not only were five thousand people fed, but after gathering up the remaining bread they found that they had 12 baskets left over.

And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. (Matthew 14:23, 25)

     After this miracle, Jesus sent the multitudes away and went up into a mountain to pray (to speak with God; to ask things of God). When it became evening (when night fell), he was still there alone. In the meantime, his disciples boarded a boat and headed over to the other side of the lake they were on. Sometime later, the weather began to be stormy. In the fourth watch, Jesus decided to go unto them walking on the water.

     What does this tell us about prayer? It appeared that Jesus went up into a mountain before evening set in to pray. Evening began at 6:00pm. He decided in the fourth watch to leave the mountain and go to the aid of his disciples, because of the impending weather. The fourth watch began at 3:00am and ended at dawn (sunrise-6:00am). What we can gather is that Jesus was at a mountain residing alone at least from 6:00pm to 3:00am. Another word, he remained in this place for at least nine hours. Did he pray during all this time? We don’t know. Did he sleep at all? It doesn’t say.

 

Jesus in a particular place where he is under great pressure. We also find that while he was there, he prayed the same prayer three times. Why do you think he did this?

Gethsemane

Suggested Reading: Matthew 26:36-45

Jesus had just partaken of the last Passover feast with his disciples. Following this, he decided to go to the Mount of Olives with Peter, James, and John to a particular place called Gethsemane (orchard of olive trees). His betrayal by Judas Iscariot into the hands of those, who would bring Him before the high priest and accuse him of blasphemy, was imminent. When they arrive at Gethsemane, He decided to separate himself a small distance away from his disciples so that he could pray alone. Before he walked away from them, he reminded them to stay awake.

And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. (Matthew 26:39, 42, 44)

     His mental state was one of being sorrowful (greatly amazed and sore troubled) and heavy (distress of mind; a feeling of terrified surprise). At some point, he fell on his face (the head was put between the knees, and the forehead brought to touch the earth - this was not only humiliating, but a very painful posture23) and prayed to the Father asking him if it were possible to let this cup pass from him. Some commentators say that Jesus was asking God the Father for a way out from the coming suffering, imminent death, and separation from Him. I am not going to address this now, but I will in the next chapter when we talk about, what did Jesus pray for?

     After prayer, he checks in on his disciples and finds them asleep. So, he decided to go back to the place where he initially prayed and made a similar request to God the Father. After which, he goes back again and checks in on the disciples, and finds them still asleep. For the third and last time, he goes back to the same place and prays again making the same request as he had twice before.

     What can we learn about prayer from these scriptures? We know that it occurred following the observance of the Passover. The amount of time spent in observance of the Passover varied. It could have lasted from anywhere between 2-4 hours. If Jesus and his disciples arrived at Gethsemane by 10:00pm, then what we could say is that He prayed during the second watch [(9:00pm) to the sixth hour (midnight)]. Another word, he prayed during the evening. It’s interesting to note that He essentially prayed the same prayer three times as if to be emphasizing to God the Father that the need for His response was critical.

 

Jesus prayed to the Father, when He was on the cross. When did He pray and for how long?

Then, said Jesus:

Suggested Reading: Luke 23:33-46  

Christ and two others are hanging on a cross, at a place called Calvary (kranion), the Greek word for Golgotha - the place of a skull. He is placed between two thieves as if to indicate that he was the worst of the three transgressors. The superscription above his head, which indicated his crime, was, “This is the King of the Jews”. This was written in the 3 learned languages of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew.

     During the time preceding the Jews exodus from Egypt and the time following, when they entered the Promised Land, the land of Canaan, while operating under the institution of the Mosaic Law, it was common for an executed person to be publicly displayed by hanging them from the stakes of a stockade wall. This was done to discourage civil disobedience and to mock defeated military foes. Another method which the Jews employed for carrying out a death sentence was stoning. After death, the person was placed on a tree “hanging” for public display. People so displayed after execution by stoning for breaking Israel’s Law were said to be cursed of God.

     During the time when Christ lived on the earth, the Sanhedrin (the judicial system of the Jews) had four forms of capital punishment: stoning, burning, beheading, and strangling. However, the Roman judicial system took away from the Sanhedrin the power of inflicting capital punishment. (Sanhedrin, 1, beginning; 7,2, p.24). This simply meant that without the confirmation of the sentence on the part of the Roman procurator, the Jews had no power to carry out the sentence of the Sanhedrin.

     As far as Roman justice was concerned, the stake or cross came to be used as a means of civil and military punishment for persons convicted as enemies of the state (foreign soldiers, rebels, spies, treason, desertion in the face of the enemy, robbery, piracy, assassination, sedition, etc.). The Roman citizen was exempt from crucifixion, the use of which was abolished under Emperor Constantine in about 300 AD.

     In relation to the coming Messiah, the Jews were looking for someone, who would deliver them from Roman rule. If Jesus was, who he said he was, he would not only deliver himself from the Romans that had him now in their hands, but he would also deliver them from Roman rule. Obviously, he did neither. Therefore, the Jews prosecuted him under the notion of a pretended Messiah.

And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.  And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. (Luke 23:33-34, 44)  

     He was placed on a cross, sentenced to die for blasphemy, claiming to be someone, who according to the Jews, he was not. While on the cross, Jesus prayed to the Father. This prayer was made in the morning before the sixth hour (noon), at which time darkness would occur over all the earth and remain until the ninth hour (3:00pm).

     What can we say concerning Jesus prayer? Due to circumstances, it was presented in the morning, and it was brief.

 

Jesus prayed when he was being baptized by John the Baptist. Were you aware of this?

The baptism of repentance for the remission (forgiveness) of sins:

Suggested Reading: Matthew 3:1-11

John the Baptist was preaching to the Jews telling them to change their mind concerning their past sins for the kingdom of heaven (the reign of God) was at hand. This was an announcement that a new intervention of God was beginning in history which invited Israel to accept the prophetic manifestation of his will through the baptizer."24 In all of the region around the Jordan River, the Jewish people came to him to be baptized confessing their sins. But this was not all, John told them that someone would arrive on the scene, who he was not worthy to baptize, that would bring about a different type of baptism, which would be a baptism of the Holy Spirit and of fire.

Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, (Luke 3:21)

     Little did he know that soon thereafter Jesus would come to him to be baptized. I mention this because this is where it says that as Jesus was being baptized by John, He prayed. What can we conclude about prayer in this instance? It’s in all likelihood that Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River in the morning or afternoon. His silent prayer, albeit brief, appeared to have been made while he was being immersed in the water

 

Did Jesus pray all night?

Continued all night:

Suggested Reading: Luke 6:1-12

And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. (Luke 6:12)

There were two instances, both of which had occurred on the Sabbath, of which Jesus was being criticized by the religious elite. The first had to do with plucking and eating ears of corn, and the second had to do with healing a man whose right hand was withered. Right after these instances were mentioned it says that Jesus went into a mountain to pray to God, and continued there all night. This is another interesting aspect of prayer. For whatever reason, Jesus prayed all night to the Father.

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. (Luke 22:31-32)

     Another passage in the book of Luke tells us that Jesus prayed for Peter.

     In summary, when, how often, and for how long did Jesus pray?

~ Jesus prayed alone at a mountain during the evening. He was there for at least 9 hours. We don’t know how much of this time was relegated to prayer. Matthew 14:13-25

~ Jesus prayed essentially the same brief prayer three times during the evening in Gethsemane. Matthew 26:36-45

~ While on the cross, Jesus prayed in the morning a short prayer to God the Father. Luke 23:33-46  

~ Jesus prayed either in the morning or afternoon briefly while he was being baptized by John the Baptist. Matthew 3:1-11

~ Jesus went up into a mountain and prayed all night to the Father. Luke 6:1-12

     The next thing we said we would do is take a look at the subject of prayer in regard to those who were in the leadership of the church or who were in the assembly of the early church. We will look at when, how often, and how long did they pray for? After which we will summarize and then compare and contrast this with what we just concluded about prayer as it related to Jesus.

 

C.   When, how often, and for how long did the leadership and those who were in the assembly of the early church pray?

In the early church, both Christian Jews and unbelieving Jews prayed together. As of yet, there was not any contention between Judaism and Christianity.

And they continued steadfastly:

Acts 2:42, 46

And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,                                                                                                                                                                                      

On the day of Pentecost, over 3000 people believed in Christ as their Messiah/Savior. They attended constantly: to the teachings of the church; to the meetings of the believers for Christian fellowship, which was centered on intimate worship, sharing, and learning the scriptures; to the sharing of fellowship meals together, which was followed by the celebration of the Lord’s Supper; in prayers.

     They would go into the court yard of the temple at Jerusalem for public prayer on a daily basis. There were three different times of the day, when the temple was open for public prayer. The third hour (9:00am), which accompanied morning sacrifice; the sixth hour (noon), when the sun had gained the meridian; and the ninth hour (3:00pm), which accompanied the evening sacrifice. Some believe that the three daily prayer-times of the Apostles and of the early Christians, consisted of praying first the Lord's Prayer at the three daily times of 9am, Noon, and 3pm, which might be followed according to individual choice (available time or inclination) with Psalms, Hymns, spiritual songs, and personal prayer25. Jewish men were required to pray during each of these three times, while Jewish women were only required to pray once a day. The amount of time spent praying would be up to each individual.

     At this time, there was no contention between those of the Jewish faith and those of the Christian faith. Jewish Christians did not separate from their unsaved Jewish brethren or from obedience to the Mosaic Law.

 

The apostles did not want to personally undertake the responsibility of distributing money and food to the Grecian widows, because they wanted to continue to engage in something that was paramount to the ministry? Do you know what this was?

Give ourselves continually:

Suggested Reading: Acts 6:1-6

And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. (Acts 6:1)

There are those in the early church, whom God had given an office gift (e.g. apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) to, who due to circumstances found there was a need to appoint some in the church (deacons) to provide food and money to those Grecian widows (Jewish immigrants to Palestine-those who spoke Greek), who unlike the Hebrew widows (the native Jews) that were being cared for, were being overlooked in the daily administration.

Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. (Acts 6:2-3)

     The apostles recommended that the brethren choose out from among them seven men of honest report (of a good reputation; of integrity), who were full of the Holy Spirit (spiritually minded; partakers of the Holy Spirit by which the soul was sanctified; controlled by the Holy Spirit) and wisdom (discretion), whom they may appoint over this matter.

But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. (Acts 6:4)

And when the angel which spake unto Cornelius was departed, he called two of his household servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually; (Acts 10:7)

     This was not only done in order to provide for those Christian widows, who needed assistance, but this was also done so that this distribution was not another responsibility for the apostles to implement so as not to interfere with their responsibilities of prayer and the ministry of the word. The words “we will give ourselves continually” (proskartereésomen from proskartereo) are similar in meaning to the words “of them that waited on continually” (proskarterountoon from proskartereo) found in Acts 10 where it talked about a soldier, who waited on a gentile named Cornelius continually. It seems to be that the idea being expressed here was that prayer was something that the apostles frequently engaged in.

     It is possible that they were still going to the courtyard in the temple three times a day for prayer. However, this activity was becoming more dangerous. In Acts 3:1, when Peter and John were going into the temple courtyard at the ninth hour (noon) for prayer there was a man who was begging for assistance at one of the gates, as he had been born crippled from birth. A miraculous healing took place where he was able to stand up and walk into the temple with the apostles for all to see. This not only stirred up wonder amongst the people, but caused an angry response from the Jewish hierarchy. Along with this, one can assume that the daily meetings of the saints for teaching, fellowship, communion, common meals, and prayer were still going on. Add to this those times when the apostles needed to go to a place for solitary prayer, what we can determine was that prayer was something that was continually a part of their spiritual walk both individually and corporately.

 

Was there ever a time in the early church where prayer was encouraged for a specified period of time at a particular place in petition to God in order to set a fellow believer free, who was put in prison for his faith?

Peter was in prison:

Suggested Reading: Acts 12:1-23

Herod the King was persecuting the church. He not only apprehended the apostle James, the brother of the apostle John Zebedee, but had him executed. After which, he had the apostle Peter apprehended and placed in prison with the intention of having a public trial for the same end. Fortunately, for Peter this trial would be on hold for eight days as the Feast of Unleavened Bread was at hand. This feast which lasted for seven days was held in conjunction with the Feast of Passover that lasted one day. The Passover would be observed on the first day followed by the seven days of Unleavened Bread.

Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. (Acts 12:5)

     The church members were very much aware that what had happened to James was probably going to happen to Peter unless they did something. Their secret weapon was to not to try and storm the prison, but prayer. It appeared that some of the assembly would meet in groups to pray for Peter at different houses. The idea of “praying without ceasing” doesn’t appear to indicate that prayer was occurring all day, but what it referred to was the fervency or urgency of the prayer by those who were engaged in it.

And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. (Acts 12:12)

     While Peter was sleeping in prison, he was awakened by an angel of the Lord, who led him out safely and without detection. After he walked through the main gate, he went to the house of a woman named Mary, where many had been gathered together all night in continuance of prayer for him knowing that on the next day he would be tried publicly and probably be put to death.

     This story gives us more of a glimpse into prayer. What can we conclude about it concerning this situation? The church was faced with the dire prospect that one of their apostles could be put to death following the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which last for eight days. Private homes were made available for group prayer. How often did the believers meet and for how long each day is not clear? What we do know is that on the last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread those who met at the house of Mary prayed all night. One more thing to note was the intensity of the prayers. They were made in earnest, which implies urgency and not necessarily constancy.

 

Can prayer be continuous? How could this be humanly possible?

Pray without ceasing:

1 Thessalonians 5:17

Pray without ceasing.

Paul is unveiling to the Thessalonians what their Christian walk should be evidencing and what it should not. One of the things they should be engaging in is to “pray without ceasing”. What does this mean? Does this mean that a Christian should be on their knees praying all day long in some location? No. It’s meaning can be expressed in a few different ways: to live in a devotional frame of mind and  maintaining continuous fellowship with God as much as possible in the midst of daily living in which concentration is frequently broken26; prayer may be without ceasing in the heart which is full of the presence of God, and evermore communing with him27).

     What does this tell us about prayer? It tells us that prayer is a mental attitude (a devotional frame of mind). As we continually reflect upon God’s word, we will be operating in His presence thus maintaining continuous fellowship with Him.

         

The apostle Paul was praying for a dear friend throughout the day, who was one of the leaders of the early church.

I have remembrance of thee:

Suggested Reading: 2 Timothy 1:1-14

I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; (2 Timothy 1:3)

Paul was writing this letter to Timothy, while being chained in a Roman prison. He told him that during his regular times of prayer, which I can only assume was modeled after the Jewish custom of praying three times a day in the courtyard of the temple that being of the 3rd (9:00am), 6th (noon), and 9th hour (3:00pm), he remembered (recalled some information about) him.

     What should we glean from these verses on prayer? Prayer can consist of recalling to our mind some information about someone else on more than one occasion throughout the day.

 

Prayer can occur at any time and at any place.

And we kneeled down:

Acts 21:5 (And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed.

The apostle Paul, while on his journey to Jerusalem, had arrived at a place called Tyre, where he had met up with several disciples and their families. He decided to stay with them for seven days. Upon hearing that a ship on the coastline was ready to depart after unloading its cargo, he goes to the shoreline with them, where they pray before sending him off.

     What does this tell us about prayer? It can occur anywhere and at any time, even on a beach.

     In summary, when, how often, and how long should we pray for? We will include at the end of this summary what we have also gathered from the life of Jesus and see if we can come up with some kind of perspective.

~ The Jewish Christians observed the custom of praying three times a day in the courtyard of the temple. They also met in homes or other places with their fellow Christians for teaching, fellowship, communion, shared meals, and prayers. Eventually, there would be friction between the two faiths whereby Christians would be seen as enemies by the Jewish hierarchy. Acts 2:42, 46

~ The apostles engaged in prayer three times a day according to the custom of the Jews, with the Christian assembly, and individually. Hebrews 6:1-6

~ The apostle Peter was facing a death sentence. Members of the Christian assembly met at various homes for group prayer. On the last day, the day before Peter’s possible execution, a group met at Mary’s house and prayed all night. Acts 12:1-23

~ As Christians we should try to maintain a devotional state of mind throughout our day so we may be in fellowship with God the Father as much as possible. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

~ The apostle Paul prayed for Timothy his friend and fellow laborer in the Lord by recalling something to his mind about him throughout the day. 2 Timothy 1:1-5

~ Paul along with some disciples and their families prayed on a beach before he was about to depart by ship heading toward Jerusalem. Acts 21:5

~ Jesus prayed alone at a mountain during the evening. He was there for at least 9 hours. We don’t know how much of this time was relegated to prayer. Matthew 14:13-25

~ Jesus prayed essentially the same brief prayer three times during the evening in Gethsemane. Matthew 26:36-45

~ While on the cross Jesus prayed in the morning a short prayer to God the Father. Luke 23:33-46  

~ Jesus prayed either in the morning or afternoon briefly while he was being baptized by John the Baptist. Matthew 3:1-11

~ Jesus went up into a mountain and prayed all night to the Father. Luke 6:1-12

     What do you think we can conclude about when, how often, and how long should we pray for?

     Should prayer be mandatory? No. This doesn’t mean that it is not important or that scheduled times could be set aside to meet for corporate prayer. However, it should not be mandated.

     Should there be a specified amount of time that each of us should set aside each day for prayer? This is up to each believer. Starting one’s day with thanking God, building oneself up in his word, and praying to God to provide opportunities to share the gospel is a good thing. Again, each believer should make up their own mind concerning this.

     Is there a particular time when believers should pray? No. As we grow in the Lord, hopefully we will operate in a devotional frame of mind throughout our day.

     I hope that what was just presented has given you insight in relation to this aspect of prayer. In the next section, we will attempt to answer the question, what should we as believers pray for, when we pray? We will begin by looking at what Jesus prayed for. Then we will look at what the leadership and those who were in the assembly of the early church prayed for. This should provide for us a basis as to what we should pray for, don’t you think?

 

Endnotes

17Karen Hill, “How Did the Names of the Days of the Week Come to Be?”, 2014. 05 February 2016 ˂ http://superbeefy.com/how-did-the-names-of-the-days-of-the-week-come-to-be/>.

18Karen Hill.

19Big Site of Amazing Facts, 06 February 2016 ˂ http://archive.is/www.bigsiteofamazingfacts.com>.

20Jan Spivey Gilchrist, “Sunday: a History of the First Day from Babylonia to the Superbowl”, 06 February 2016 ˂ http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-385-51039-4>.

21Larry Wishon, “Sunday, the First Day of the Week a Myth?”, 07 February 2016 ˂http://www.larrywishon.com/SundayMyth.php>.

22Larry Wishon.

23Adam Clarke.

24UBS.

25Monk Preston, “The Threefold Daily Prayers”, 08 February 2016 ˂http://prayerfoundation.org/dailyoffice/the_threefold_daily_prayers.htm>.

26Bible Knowledge Commentary/Old Testament.

27The Pulpit Commentary Pc Study Bible version 5, 2006, 08 February 2016 ˂http://www.biblesoft.com>.

 

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New Covenant Ministries - Ministerios NuevoPacto                                                                                        

Sunday & Thursday Worship 7:00PM                                                                                                        

Domingo & Jueves 7:00PM                                                                                                                     

Meetings at Harbor Church, Block Island                                                                                                 

Spanish (401) 580-1156 English (401) 533-6768

 

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