Looking at the When, Why, and Where of Prayer
In the first post of this series, we looked at scriptures that answered the question of who should pray and who we should pray for. Then in post #2 we looked at 7 specific areas to remember when praying. In this post, we will look again at the scriptures to discover the scriptural gems concerning the when, why, and where of prayer.
A Treasure Chest
The Bible is a treasure chest full of jewels and gemstones just waiting to be discovered. I may not enjoy searching through boxes of stuff in yard sales and auctions one bit. However, when it comes to searching the scriptures I’m like Indiana Jones searching for the lost ark.
No one can speak any clearer than the scriptures themselves. That is why this website contains more scripture than my own personal thoughts. Moreover, everyone has thoughts and opinions. Spoiler alert, your thoughts, and opinions do not always reflect the truth of a situation.
But God’s Word has been and always will be the absolute truth we can depend on! So lets discover the gems regarding when to pray.
Discover the Scriptural Gems of When to Pray
Some of the treasures in Scripture are right out in the open. Hardly any digging is required. According to Scripture, we find we are to be in a continual state of prayer. Therefore, we are to pray:
- We always pray for you, and we give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. – Colossians 1:3
- Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. – Romans 12:12
- Never stop praying – 1 Thessalonians 5:17
- We always thank God for all of you and pray for you constantly. – 1 Thessalonians 1:2
- I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer. – Psalm 63:4
- I searched for the Lord. All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven… Psalm 77:2
We also discover the Scriptural gems that tell us to pray when we are:
- Suffering hardships/distress
- Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray… – James 5:13
- But in my distress, I cried out to the Lord; yes, I prayed to my God for help. He heard me from his sanctuary; my cry to him reached his ears. – Psalm 18:6
- Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. – James 5:14
- When it is unlawful in man’s eyes
- But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God. Daniel 6:10
Most of all when we are reminded of the Majesty of our God!
When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, – Ephesians 3:14
Throw Up Your Hands in Surrender
Have you ever heard someone say something to the effect of ‘all we can do now is pray’ or ‘there is nothing I can do but pray’? Perhaps you have said something along the same line. I will confess I have. Moreover, it’s as if we throw up our hands in surrender because we can’t do anything else!
However, that is precisely the very FIRST thing we should do, not as a last resort.
Likewise, it is imperative that we realize that there is tremendous power in prayer! Don’t let the liar and deceiver of the brethren, Satan, convince you otherwise. Therefore, throw up our hands in surrender to the Lord who CAN AND WILL do something!
Discover the Scriptural Gems of Why to Pray
Do you realize God saves our every prayer? When we pray, it’s as if a golden bowl of incense is being carried to the very throne of God in heaven.
Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. – Revelation 5:8
Discover the scriptural gems below to see the various reasons why prayer needs to be our first response and not the last.
- You are helping us by praying for us. – 2 Corinthians 1:11
- Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. – James 5:15
- Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. – James 5:16
- But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, – Jude 1:20
- “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields. – Luke 10:2
- “Pray that you will not give in to temptation.” – Luke 22:40
- And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.” – Jeremiah 29:7
- Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment. – Psalm 32:6
- But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life. – Psalm 42:8
- You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our savior. You are the hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas. – Psalm 65:5
- Bend down, O Lord, and hear my prayer; answer me, for I need your help. – Psalm 86:1
- Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my plea! Answer me because you are faithful and righteous. – Psalm 143:1
- Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. – Daniel 10:12
- I took my troubles to the Lord; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer. – Psalm 120:1
- We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. – Colossians 1:11
- I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. – Ephesians 1:1
The above reasons for why to pray don’t even begin to scratch the surface of the plethora of gems waiting to be discovered. Moreover, speak to why we
should rather NEED to be a people of prayer!
Discover the Scriptural Gems of Where to Pray
When we review the scriptures, we see that prayer took place anywhere and everywhere. And that is as it should be. When our lives are centered on the Lord, we can have a conversation at any time.
There is power in praying together with other Believers. Yet there are times when we want to just be with Him without distractions. Consider with me the following scriptures.
- Prayer took place in the Temple:
- Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o’clock prayer service. – Acts 3:1
- He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” – Mark 11:17
- In every place of worship:
- In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy. – 1 Timothy 2:8
- Jesus liked to pray in isolated places:
- Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. – Mark 1:35
- After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone. – Matthew 14:23
We also see that King Hezekiah prayed before the alter when seeking the Lord’s help against the army of King Sennacherib of Assyria. (See 2 Kings 18:13 – 2 Kings 19:37)
Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 6:6: “But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”
We also discover that Paul and Silas were having their own prayer and praise meeting while chained in prison! “Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.” – Acts 16:25
We have only begun…
We have only begun to discover the scriptural gems to uncover the when, why, and where of prayer. I hope you were encouraged by today’s post. Please add any other Scriptural Gems you discover in the comment section below. I hope you will subscribe to my website so you will never miss being notified of new posts.
Next time God willing we will discover the gems regarding our required attitude in prayer. See you then!
I have included a link to a table I assembled for your encouragement of people in the Old Testament that prayed to God along with the results of prayers prayed. You can see it HERE.