How to Spend A Day in Prayer - hartshill-bible ?· So why don’t we spend a day in prayer? ... If you…
Post on 09-Aug-2018
How to Spend A Day in Prayerby Lorne C. Sanny
Why spend a day in prayer? A critical decision needsto be made. Your spiritual fire needs rekindling. Aproblem needs Gods intervention. Your sense of Godspresence needs to be renewed.You realize that ministry demands so much more thanhuman effort. Its no wonder someone has said, Themost important thing I will do today is pray. The thingsthat matter most to us depend on it.So why dont we spend a day in prayer? Partly becausewe dont know how. Perhaps that is why Lorne Sannysbrief article has been so well received for many years.Never thought a day could make such a difference,a friend said to me. My relationship to everyone seemsimproved. Why dont I do it more often?Comments like these come from those who set asidea personal day of prayer.With so many activitiesimportant onesclamoring forour time, real prayer is considered more a luxury than anecessity. How much more so spending a day in prayer!The Bible gives us three time-guides for personalprayer. There is the command to pray withoutceasingthe spirit of prayerkeeping so in tune withGod that we can lift our hearts in request or praiseanytime through the day.There is also the practice of a quiet time or morningwatchseen in the life of David (Ps. 5:3), of Daniel(6:10), and of the Lord Jesus (Mark 1:35). This dailytime specified for meditation in the Word of God andprayer is indispensable to the growing, healthy Christian.Then there are examples in the Scripture of extendedtime given to prayer alone. Jesus spent whole nightspraying. Nehemiah prayed certain days upon hearingof the plight of Jerusalem. Three times Moses spentforty days and forty nights alone with God.
evenings or Saturdays, when you could use the timeto advantage and still get the recreation you need.As you pray, record your thoughts on your activitiesand use of time and plan for better scheduling. Perhapsthe need for better preparation for your Sunday schoolclass or a personal visit with an individual will come tomind. Or the Lord may impress you to do somethingspecial for someone. Make a note of it.During this part of your day, bring up any problems ordecisions you are facing and seek the mind of God onthem. It helps to list the factors involved in thesedecisions or problems. Pray over these factors andlook into the Scriptures for guidance. You may be ledto a promise or a direction form the passages withwhich you have already filled your mind during the day.After prayer, you may reach some definite conclusionsupon which you can base firm convictions. It shouldbe your aim in a day of prayer to come away with someconclusions and specific direction some stakesdriven. However, do not be discouraged if this is notthe case. It may not be Gods time for a conclusiveanswer to your problem. And you may discover thatyour real need was not to know the next step but tohave a new revelation of God himself.In looking for promises to claim, theres no need tothumb through the Bible looking for new or startlingones. Just start with the promises you already know.Chew over some old familiar promises the Lord hasgiven you before, ones you remember as you thinkback. Pray about applying these verses to your life.I have found some of the greatest spiritual rewardsfrom a new realization of promises I already knew.And the familiar promises may lead you to others. TheBible is full of them.You may want to mark or underline in your Bible thepromises the Lord gives during these protracted timesalone, and put the date and a word or two in the marginbeside them.Variety is important during your day of prayer. Read awhile, pray a while, then walk around. A friend of minepaces the floor of his room for his prayer time. Ratherthan get cramped in one position, take a walk and stretch.
As outside things pop into your mind, simplyincorporate those items into prayer. If its somebusiness item you must not forget, jot it down. Haveyou noticed how many things come to mind while youare sitting in church? It will be natural for things tooccur to you during your prayer day that you shouldhave done, so put them down, pray about them, andplan how you can take care of them and when. Dontjust push them aside, or they will plague you the restof the day.At the end of the day, summarize in your notebooksome things God has spoken to you about. This willbe profitable to refer to later.Two QuestionsThe result of your day of prayer should be answers tothe two questions Paul asked the Lord on the Damascusroad (Acts 22:6-10). Pauls first question was, Who areyou, Lord? The Lord replied, I am Jesus. You will beseeking to know him, to find out who he is. The secondquestion Paul asked was, What shall I do, Lord? TheLord answered him specifically. This should beanswered or reconfirmed for you in that part of the daywhen you unhurriedly seek his will for you.Dont think you must end the day with some newdiscovery or extraordinary experience. Wait on God andexpose yourself to his word. Looking for a newexperience or insight you can share with someone whenyou get back will get you off the track. True, you maygain some new insight, but often this can divert yourattention from the real business. The test of such a dayis not how exhilarated we are when the day is over buthow it works into life tomorrow. If we have fully exposedourselves to the Word and come into contact with God,it will affect our daily life. And that is what we want.Days of prayer dont just happen. Besides the attemptsof our enemy Satan to keep us from praying, the worldaround us has plenty to offer to fill our time. So wehave to make time. Plan ahead the first of everymonth or once a quarter. Do it soon! You too willprobably ask yourself, Why not more often?
by Lorne Sanny
How to Go about ItHaving set aside a day or portion of a day for prayer,pack a lunch and start out. Find a place where youcan be alone, away from distractions. This may be awooded area near home or your backyard. An outdoorspot is excellent if you can find it; but dont getsidetracked into nature studies and fritter away yourtime. If you find yourself watching the squirrels or theants, direct your observation by reading Psalm 104and meditating on the power of God in creation.If an outdoor spot isnt available, try a quiet corner ofa library.Take along a Bible, a notebook and a pencil, ahymnbook, and perhaps a devotional book. I like tohave with me the booklet Power Through Prayer byE.M. Bounds and read a chapter or two as a challengeto the strategic value of prayer.Even if you have all day, you will want to use itprofitably. So lose no time in starting, and startpurposefully.Wait on the LordDivide the day into three parts: waiting on the lord,prayer for others, and prayer for yourself.As you wait on the Lord, dont hurry. You will miss thepoint if you look for some mystical or ecstaticexperience. Just seek the Lord, waiting on him. Isaiah40:31 promises that those who wait upon the Lord willrenew their strength. Psalm 27:14 is one of dozens ofverses that mention waiting on him, as is Psalm 62:5Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comesfrom him.Wait on him first to realize his presence. Read througha passage like Psalm 139, grasping the truth of hispresence with you as you read each verse. Ponderthe impossibility of being anywhere in the universewhere he is not. Often we are like Jacob when hesaid, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew itnot! (Gen. 26:18 KJV).Wait on him for cleansing. The last two verses ofPsalm 139 lead you into this. As God to search yourheart as those verses suggest. When we search our
own hearts, it can lead to imaginations, morbidintrospection, or anything the enemy may want to throwbefore us. But when the Holy Spirit searches, he willbring to your attention what should be confessed andcleansed. Psalms 51 and 32, Davids songs ofconfession, will help you. Stand upon the firm groundof I John 1:9 and claim Gods faithfulness to forgivewhatever specific thing you confess.If you realize youve sinned against a brother, make anote of it so you wont forget to set it right. Otherwise,the rest of the day will be hindered. God wont bespeaking to you if there is something between you andsomeone else that you havent planned to take careof at the earliest possible moment.As you wait on God, ask for the power of concentration.Bring yourself back from daydreaming.Next, wait on God to worship him. Psalms 103, 111,and 145 are wonderful portions to follow as you praisethe Lord for the greatness of his power. Most of thePsalms are prayers. Or turn to Revelation, chapters fourand five, and use them in your praise to him. There isno better way to pray scripturally than to pray Scripture.If you brought a hymnbook, you can sing to the Lord.Some wonderful hymns have been written that put intowords what we would scarcely express ourselves.Maybe you dont sing well then be sure youre outof earshot of someone else and make a joyful noiseunto the Lord. He will appreciate it.This will lead you naturally into thanksgiving. Reflectupon the wonderful things God has done for you andthank him for thesefor your own salvation and spiritualblessings, for your family, friends, and opportunities.Go beyond what you thank the Lord for daily.Prayer for OthersNow is the time for the unhurried, more detailed prayerfor others you dont get to ordinarily. Trace your wayaround the world, praying for people by countries.Here are three suggestions:First, ask specific things for them. Perhaps youremember or have jotted down various needs peoplehave mentioned. Use requests from missionary prayer
letters. Pray for spiritual strength, courage, physicalstamina, mental alertness, and so on. Imagine yourselfin the situations where these people are and prayaccordingly.Second, look up some of the prayers in Scripture. Praywhat Paul prayed for other people in the first chaptersof Philippians and Colossians, and in the first and thirdchapters of Ephesians. This will help you advance inyour prayer from the stage of Lord, bless so and soand help them to do such and such.Third, ask for others what you are praying for yourself.Desire for them what the Lord has shown you.If you pray a certain verse or promise of Scripture fora person, you may want to put the reference by hisname on your prayer list and use this verse as youpray for that person the next time. Then use it forthanksgiving as you see the Lord answer.Prayer for YourselfThe third part of your day will be prayer for yourself. Ifyou are facing an important decision, you may want toput this before prayer for others.Again, let your prayer be ordered by Scripture and askthe Lord for understanding, according to Psalm 119:18.Meditate upon Scripture you have memorized orpromises you have previously claimed from the Word.Reading a whole book of the Bible through, perhapsaloud, is a good idea. Consider how it might apply toyour life.Lord, what do you think of my life? is the attitude ofthis portion of your day of prayer. Consider your mainobjectives in the light of what you know to be Godswill for you. Jesus said, My food is to do the will ofhim who sent me and to finish his work (John 4:34).Do you want to do Gods will more than anything else?Is it really your highest desire?Then consider your activities what you do in thecontext of your objectives. God may speak to you aboutrearranging your schedule, cutting out certain activitiesthat are good but not best, or some things that areentanglements or impediments to progress. Strip themoff. You may be convicted about how you spend your