When I pray, I tend to write out my prayers. While that may seem a little weird to some, that fact that I love to write and that I process my thoughts through writing should make the fact that I write out my prayers make a bit more sense.
Anyway, while I believe praying is a personal thing, I do think it’s important to address a comment that comes up often in the body of Christ; the discussion of “time spent praying.” So what do I believe?
Prayer is crucial to your relationship with God. Repeat after me: A relationship with someone you don’t talk to is a relationship that doesn’t exist. The mere foundation of any relationship is relating. It is impossible to build friendships, strong familial relationships or even date without a communication. It is through communication that we find out what someone likes, what they don’t like, what we have in common, ways in which we’re different and so on. This is no different in our relationship with God. We have to take time our to communicate with Him. It is during our time with Him that we get to express what’s on our minds; what’s bringing us joy or sadness or anger or confusion. And in return we get to hear from Him. Sometimes we receive very fast answers and feedback. Other times, it may be days, weeks or even years before we receive our answer. However, without praying, it’s hard to know what God is saying. If you’ve never communicated your desires, hurts or wants, how do you even start to recognize His answers?
Prayer is crucial for your life. We need direction. It is through Bible study and prayer that we receive that direction. Otherwise, we’d be wandering like lost sheep, stressed out and burned out by the pressures of life. It is through prayer that we are able to exchange our burdens for solace. We were not made to be God. That’s God’s job. When we try to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders, we’ve misappropriated our capabilities. We have to realize we’re not God, and we never will be God. By accepting this truth, it’s easier to relinquish control of the things that burden you. For Christians, that relinquishing happens through prayer.
Now for the big question. If prayer is so important, how long should you spend praying?
Until you’re done.
“God, Thank You. Amen.”
This is literally one of the prayers in my prayer journal. Then there are prayers that may be 5 or more pages long.
It’s not about the amount of time that you spend with God (heck, he should be wrapped around your entire day), but it’s about the quality of your conversation. It’s about being authentic in your communication.
If you have 30 minutes to an hour (or more) worth of conversation with God, then so be it. However, if you’re simply spending 30 minutes of wasted time on your spiritual knees, stop. God doesn’t need your time or adherence to rigid, self-imposed laws. He more concerned with your heart. And if you’re one worrying that you haven’t given enough time to God because of how you see or hear about others worshipping, rest assured knowing that if you’re communing from your heart, that’s all that matters.