Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Best Time To Pray

Is there a best time of the day to pray? Well, I think we all know the answer to that question is "any time". There is no magical time of day to come before God; He is available to talk 24/7 (do people still say that?).

There is something, however, satisfying about praying in the morning - specifically when  you first get up, before getting involved in the business of the day. Spending time with God is important. If we get up and go about our lives, getting involved in the kids' after school activities, homework, housework, paying the bills, getting supper ready, our jobs, etc., there is a great chance at forgetting to spend time with God by the end of the day.

I''m not saying it's wrong if you do spend time in prayer at the end of the day. For some people, that is their preferred time to be in prayer, and that's perfectly fine. I used to do this, myself - read my Bible and pray before going to bed. After awhile, I would read my Bible and then lay down in bed to begin praying, only to find out a short time later that I had been dozing in the middle of what I was saying  (most times I would fall asleep before making it half way through my prayers. For me, at the end of the day I was tired and couldn't focus and just wanted to go to sleep. It didn't seem to work well for me. If it does for you, that's great.

Since becoming a teacher last year, I have switched my routine to the morning. I get up at pretty much the same time every morning and get ready in case I get a call for work (currently I do supply work, so if I don't get a call to work in the evening, there is a chance I'll get a call between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. to go in that day). I take my shower, do my hair, and put my make-up on so that if I get a call to come in ASAP, I am ready. Once I have that done, I make my way to the living room (where I do my devotions) and read my Bible chapter(s) and pray. I will also add here, that if I do get called to work and don't get a chance to do my devotions and pray, I try to remember to do them at night - but that doesn't always work out, and I end up forgetting.

The day just seems to go a little better and I am a little more able to handle situations when I pray in the morning. Does this mean that my day will go perfectly, that nothing bad will happen, or that I won't get angry or sin? Of course not. But I have heard many people who also pray and do devotions in the morning say their day seems to go a little better, and they feel they can handle whatever comes their way in a more Christian manner (if that makes sense), than if they start their day without God.

Praying in the morning is in the Bible - we read in Psalm 5:3, "In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch." We even read about Jesus getting up early in the morning before everyone else to pray to God. This can be found in Mark 1:35, "In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there." Does that mean that the morning is the only time to pray? Of course not! Jesus prayed ALL THE TIME. There is no real or specific time to pray, but there is just something about praying in the morning that helps you get through the day.

So, I challenge you to this. If you are not someone who prays in the morning, why not try it - even if it means going to bed a little early and setting your alarm to get up 30-60 minutes earlier. Try doing your devotions and praying in the morning and see how it works. And of course, feel free to come back and let me know what you thought about it (both good and bad aspects).

That all being said, the best time of the day to pray is whatever works for you. The important thing is to spend the time with God, and pray.

What time of day do you find is the best time for you to pray? If you do pray in the morning, do you think it helps you throughout the day? Do you notice a difference in your day, or in how you act/react during the day if you pray in the morning as opposed to praying in the evening or at night? Let me know in the comment section.