HOW TO ENGAGE IN LONG HOUR PRAYER
Engaging in long hour prayer is a milestone that seems unachievable for many Christians. To say the truth prayer in itself is work. Everybody and anybody can sing, everybody and anybody can preach, everybody and anybody can teach but not everybody can pray. It is easy to pick up the microphone and sing, preach and teach but it requires more commitment to pray. The best orators, lecturers, school teachers, public speakers are not even Christians this shows clearly that you can sing, preach and teach but it doesn’t mean you can pray.
Look back at the way you had grown from a new convert with vast knowledge of the scripture yet you know through all those years your prayer life scores low. But for you to have open this page means you are eager to fix your prayer life and the good news is effective and fervent prayer life is easy to attain if you are ready to pay the price. Before I continue, this article is mainly for those who have a personal prayer but are eager to spend more time in their prayer, I won’t be dealing with reviving a dying prayer life but I encourage you to read the article on how to revive dying personal prayer life before you continue.
Let get it right, prayer is not the work of the pastors as most of us think but prayer is compulsory for all believers. The bible admonishes that we should pray without ceasing 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Prayer is an inevitable practice for all believers. The same way incantation is to herbalist, the same way is prayer for a believer.
Without incantation, the herbalist cannot invoke the evil spirit correctly, without prayer you cannot access God correctly. Without incantation the herbalist cannot have access to the spirit world, without prayer you cannot access the spirit world. Without incantation the herbalist won’t have access to the magical power of the spirit world, without prayer no believer can contact the real power of God.
Have you read or heard about the move of God in the eighties and nineties? They are unbelievable things wrought by ordinary men through God’s power. The great Asuza street revival was birthed through men that thirst after God in prayer. The 1930 revival in Nigeria was birthed in the midst of prayer and sustained through prayer. Men like smith Wigglesworth, Mother Maria Ether, Katherine Kulman, John G. Lake, Kenneth Hagin, Oral Robert, Apostle Babalola, and Arch. Bishop Benson Idahosa turn the supernatural to natural occurrence in their time. If you are hungry for His power, give yourself to prayer and fasting no any other way to it.
You must begin to understand that Christianity is not a bed or rose. Christ didn’t promise us that there won’t be trouble, He actually said there would be trouble but He promised victory. Yet the victory He promised is not our victory but His victory. He overcame not you not me but He has given us the grace to share His victory. Christ has won therefore victory is certain but for you to experience the victory you must enforce it on the devil and you can only do that through prayer.
Thank God your prayer life is on fire but there is more. Oh! Pastor I pray for 30 minute every day, there is more ground to cover. You can press more for more. But have found out that most of us want to press more and stay long in His presence but we don’t know what to pray about. How can I give God more time and extend my fellowship time with Him?
- Time: As pointed out in the article I prayed in church but can’t pray alone that prayer is one of the tools to strengthen your relationship with God. In every relationship communication and contact is needed to make the relationship flourish. All of us communicate with our love ones. No matter how busy we are we still find a way to reach them. Let me tell you this there is nothing as painful as lovers who could not connect. Ooh! You don’t know The Holy Spirit feels grieved every time you neglected Him. Guess you don’t know how God feels every time you get home from work, gist with your family, watch t.v. and you just hit the bed and slip without fellowshipping with Him. When was the last time you reach out to God out of your busy schedule the same way you reach out to your love ones? You might be busy during the week yet you create time for your love ones during the weekend. I know your work is tedious but can you create time to spend with God alone on Saturday even if it’s one hour as you will do with your family. You went on vacation with your love ones after some months of work, when will you go on vacation with God even if its three days (It’s called personal retreat). Beloved, prayer will always be a burden to you until you see God as the most important person in your life. Until you begin to see God as all in all in your life, you can pray as you desire. You must create time for God come rain come sun.
Secondly, many of us actually have a prayer time and we try to keep to it but no more. Some years back I also proposed to make 1am-2am as my prayer time, I tried all I could to keep it but I gave up because I would have worn out by the time am back from work, cook and eat and to wake up at that time is really a mountain to climb. I tried for some time but it wasn’t consistent. Many are good at keeping their prayer time but for me I couldn’t.
Do I give up on praying? NO instead of feeling bitter for missing my prayer time and giving up on prayer I decided to pray any time I wake up and it worked. You may not be able to keep night prayers, don’t be frustrated, you can start with prayer before bed time or early hour prayer before work. The main deal is to fellowship with God on a daily basis don’t bother about when you do that for now. When you fellowship with Him on a daily basis irrespective of when you do it, you will automatically receive the grace to keep set time even midnight prayer.
Some of you may say pastor I can’t even keep bedtime, then just pray as you can you may pray bedtime today and early time tomorrow, just make sure you are in contact with your lover (God), He in turn will give you the grace to be consistent and do more.
- Always take prayer as fellowship and not a tool to request: Have you ever ask yourself what men that engage in long hour prayer do? What are they praying about? What will they be saying for 3 hours – 12 hours? Men like Apostle Babaloala prayed for 3 days non-stop, what was he saying? Pastor E. A Adeboye pray every night for 3-4 hours, I mean every night. What is He praying for? Every night for those long hours. That’s the question more of us ask. What will I be saying for 2 hours, talk less of 5 hours? The answer is fellowship.
See your prayer time as a time of fellowship between you and your lover. Prayer should be koinonia (deep fellowship). A time where all that matters is God and God alone. You are not praying because you want to ask Him to help you but because you just want to spend time with Him. How many of us rush our relaxing time with our loves one? For you to get it right in the place of prayer, stop looking at time. Don’t be conscious of the time to finish. He knows you are tired, He knows you are going to work soon but it’s an insult on His Majesty for you to be looking at the clock every now and then.
- Organize yourself before prayer: know what you want to pray about, like Bishop David Oyedepo said I organize my points before I go to Him. You can also write down your prayer points, it will give you a focus and guide when you are praying. Your mind won’t be wandering about on what to pray. It will keep your mind fix. Let me add this to that, I learnt it when Pastor E. A. Adeboye, the General oversea of the Redeemed Christian Church of God started one hour prayer some years ago during the Holy Ghost Services and conventions. He usually gives prayer point for us to write out and the prayer is for one hour. But I noticed, a lot of people really engaged in the one hour prayer yet many are only active for the first fifteen minute. I employed another system, I used a timer on my phone to time each prayer point. By the time I finish I would have cover all the point well and sometimes I can devout more time to some prayer points. But setting alarm helped me to be organized, you can do it to.
Let say, you have 10 prayer points to cover. You worship God for 10min and set 5 minutes for each prayer point, that’s 1 hour already.
- Fellowship: I learned this secret from Pastor E. A Adeboye. Have you ever think about what these men prayed about for four, five, six hours even days. Do you think is about the house, life issue, money, ministry, no sir. The reason why you can’t go on and pray for long hours is because you only pray to request about things pertaining to this life, by the time you ask for money, house, enemies your request will be exhausted. But these men secret are three things:
- They spend time in worshipping God: I can go on and on for two hours just to worship Him. I know you sing praises when you pray too but the difference is that these men don’t rush there praises and thanksgiving as you do. Even if all they can do is just to thank Him, and praise Him is enough. Don’t forget it’s about fellowship and it’s about God, when you pray take your mind away from the pressing needs, let your mind focus on pleasing Him, spend time to eulogize Him, turn you worship to chant (I love this part most), call Him is name (You can even exhaust that in one hour) sing worship that reflect His Majesty, His love, His mercy, His power and be detailed in Your thanksgiving prayer (when was the last time you thank Him for your body part one after the other, don’t forget many can move their hands the way you can move yours). Think deeply and you will see enough reason to thank Him. Doing this a lot can take 2-3 hours.
- They prayed in the spirit: Praying in the Spirit is the best kind of prayer. It’s the height of fellowshipping with God. When you pray in the spirit you don’t need to bother about what to pray about, you don’t need to bother about the request before you because as you pray in the spirit, the spirit search your mind, pick out the pressing needs even the one you don’t know about and present your case in the right way before God. Learn to pray in the spirit more than you pray in understanding. The more you pray in the spirit, the more your capacity increase. Apostle Paul Said He prayed in the spirit and also in understanding. 1 Corinthians 14:15.
- They pray out burdens impressed on their heart: Long hours prayer is not a prayer of give me this, give me that. It’s not a prayer about you and just you. Long hour prayer is a prayer of intercession; it’s a service unto others. If all you do when you pray is to ask and ask about yourself then you can go long in prayer. Dedicate time to pray fro His kingdom to come, dedicate time to pray for lost soul even in your family. As you pray, the Holy Spirit will communicate what to pray about to you, don’t ignore it because of what you think are pressing to you. Just go ahead and do it. The more you do, the more you are taking territory for Him, the more you are legislating in the realm of the spirit. The more you are becoming a cover for many.
Engaging in Long hour prayer is achievable and it can be done by anyone who is willing. The key is willingness and consistency. I see you taking charge as you engage in long hour prayer.
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©Oladimeji Olayinka Joseph