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Why pray for 45 minutes?

In discipling others, I advocate an extended time of prayer – 45 minutes for starters. Why? Why not just pray throughout the day? Jesus said, “Can’t you stick it out with me for a single hour? Stay alert; be in prayer so that you don’t wander into temptation without even knowing you’re in …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

In discipling others, I advocate an extended time of prayer – 45 minutes for starters. Why? Why not just pray throughout the day?

Jesus said, “Can’t you stick it out with me for a single hour? Stay alert; be in prayer so that you don’t wander into temptation without even knowing you’re in danger. There is a part of you that is eager, ready for anything in God. But there is another part that’s as lazy as an old dog sleeping by the fire.” (Matthew 26:40-41, The Message)

Jesus always seems to be giving people three chances to get it right. He caught the disciples sleeping two more times after that. They, like us, had to fight their flesh. All he asked them for was an hour.

We have a relational faith and relationships seem to need regular focused time. For my marriage to be at its best, I need a good hour a day with Karen. Something happens with that kind of commitment. Our spirits connect. All the superficial stuff and the task-oriented stuff recedes into the background. We build the habits of telling the truth and trusting.

The patter of periodic sentence prayers throughout the day doesn’t accomplish this any more than it would with your spouse (“Hey, can you take out the garbage?” – see, we just connected). Think of it this way: We were made in God’s image. He has the relational attributes of a person. He wants devoted, focused time with us.

There is nothing magic about an hour, the South Korean pastors routinely pray for three. 45 minutes is just a starting point. It gets you headed in a direction and helps you build some momentum. If you’re struggling to kick-start your prayer life, why not make the commitment? Let me know if you do so in the blog comment section and I’ll send you an email in a week to check and see if it worked.

Comments (12)

  • My name is yonas. I am from Africa. I drive truck for living. I come a across your name on twitter and you only one i look forward to read your post. You are a blessing!!! I need more discipleship material if you can.
    God bless!!!

  • Well…I am NOT a morning person but after studying prayer last night and coming across Mark 1:35 I am challenged to get up “very early in the morning, while it is still dark”. As a homeschooling mom it is very difficult to find solitude any other time! So…I’m committed! I started this morning!

  • I am NOT a morning person either. But if it doesn’t happen then, the busy-ness of the day prevents it other times. So I will start with 45 minutes a day.

  • Seth,

    Well you have set the first “gauntlet” of this “experiment”. I like the way you pointed out the ambivilance of our nature…how we are “restless” but yet “lazy” at the same time…especially true in my own life. I am going to trust you on this one and believe in faith that fruits will come of it. Thank you for selflessly sharing your wisdom.

    Kevin

  • Yes, I’m reading all your blogs on prayer. I just wanted to comment on this one because for our upcoming, inaugural corporate prayer gathering in our living room this Wednesday night, I’ve set aside 8:00-8:45pm as the time for prayer, figuring 45 minutes is enough for starters……and then I read this blog. What a great, great confirmation.

    Then from 8:45 to 9:15 we’ll debrief, “what did you hear God say? did you have any impressions or thoughts that could be from the Lord?” And here’s the really cool thing: if no one shows up, Heidi and I will still pray together for that time! We’re committed no matter what.

    Later!

  • We have prayer meeting every other friday and some time most of the numbers don’t come out to prayer meeting. I know that pray is important for a church I pray God will speak to their heart and they will realize how important prayer is for the church and for ourself. I did not know the length of time we pray was important I will definitely start now.

  • I now believe that preyer can change a life so am starting my now, we have someone who loves us jest 45mint pls.

  • I now believe that preyer can change a life so am starting my now, we have someone who loves us jest 45mint pls.

  • Wht preying can do pls people out der I need job pls help me u can whatsapp me on 0249920791 or call me on 002330249920791 I believe dat if u change my life Jesus will change yours AMEN

  • Please need advice , I had be pray for most of my live and try not to sleep by thing how give back the hurting to all the people who hurting me. it never works , and God always great them well. by excuse them because the saying sorry. it seem I don’t believe in what w call God any more or Jesus give the live for us. who can prove that. is human saying that to mess with your head. why are we always hurt when seriously don’t do anything to a person.??????

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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