How often should I pray? God heard me the first time, didn’t he? Yes. So why do I need to ask again? And again?
Persistence in Prayer is Important. Why?
1. Persistence in prayer, coming to God over the same question or problem and reading his word, will cause ancillary distractions and personal deception to drop off and fade away. Sometimes I need persistence in prayer for a period of time just so I can understand for what I need to be praying. Fasting as a focal lens for prayer can accelerate this process dramatically. So how often should I pray? Frequently, until I am willing and open to listen to God and patiently allow him to work in my life. With each prayer, I need to examine my concept of God. Two aids for this: Prayer: What is Your Concept of God? and Passages to Begin Prayer.
2. Often after passing through this first phase, God will show me a new way of looking at my question or problem. And sometimes, I will see that I really didn’t want what I was asking for, there was something else instead. I need to remember to thank God for this mental/spiritual shift. How often should I pray? Until I understand that what is really important in prayer and the answer behind all my questions and problems is my need for a one on one relationship with my creator.
3. This process only works when I do it. Simply understanding that I need to be persistent in prayer isn’t enough. I must do it now, and do it frequently. I can ask, ‘Jesus, what do I do?’ anywhere, all the time. Asking, ‘what would Jesus do?’ is not a prayer.
The Persistence is for My Benefit
4. The persistence is for me, not for God, and in helping me to overcome my unbelief. Before I can cast the spiritual mountain into the sea that is blocking my growth, I need to see it. Then I can see it cast into the sea. How often should I pray? All the time, until I can see and understand my spiritual mountains and see them cast into the sea.
5. Frequent persistence in prayer goes hand in hand with belief. When I am not persistent in prayer, my faith is probably weak. God isn’t interested in religion. He is interested in relationship. As Oscar Wilde said in The Picture of Dorian Gray, ‘Religion is a poor substitute for belief.’
6. Finally, persistence in prayer reminds me to make sure my prayers, beliefs, actions, and thoughts are aligned. If I am not willing to align my actions and thoughts with what I am praying about, I should stop praying about it. If I am praying for plan A, I should not be thinking or preparing for plan B unless God starts pointing me in that direction.
In conclusion, how often should I pray? As frequently as I remember to do so.
I confess this doesn’t adequately explain the metaphysical shift experienced when your prayer life matures. Whey you practice persistence in prayer, you can go to God angry, disturbed, upset, and walk away refreshed and at peace. Eventually going to the fountain of prayer will become a great joy most of the time.
Originally Published on: Feb 5, 2013