– Oswald Chambers
Why wait to get to that special “prayer closet” when you can pray anywhere you are whenever you can?
Praying at All Times
Paul writes that we are to be “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints” (Eph 6:18). He doesn’t say, “Wait till you get home, wait till tonight,” or “wait till you get in your prayer closet.” He says to pray at all times in the Spirit, which is praying in the Holy Spirit. Don’t wait until you get to that place of prayer; pray on the way to it. Be praying at all times for all saints and for all leaders, for this is the will of God. Jesus once “told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1). He didn’t say pray when you can, pray when you should, pray when you have need, but “that they should always pray and not give up.” Paul also writes, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (Rom 12:12) and to “pray continually” (1 Thess 5:17), so pray at all times, pray always, pray continually, and be constant in prayer. That about sums it up, doesn’t it?
Who and What to Pray For
We are fallen creatures, and we are all prone to anxieties, so Paul writes to “not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Phil 4:6). The early church “joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers” (Acts 1:14). Colossians 1:3 is where Paul writes, “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,” so we can pray for one another in the church, but Paul also urges, “first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people” (1 Tim 2:1) and to be “building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit” (Jude 1:20). Praying for all people would include our governmental leaders on the national, state, and local levels and includes praying “for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior” (1 Tim 2:2-3). Since we don’t have kings anymore, this means our leaders.
Help in Praying
Sometimes I need help in knowing exactly what to pray for, but the Spirit can help, as Paul writes, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans” (Rom 8:26). The disciples once asked Jesus how to pray, and He showed them in what is commonly called the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 where Jesus told the disciples to pray for God’s name to be hallowed or revered (Matt 6:9); for His kingdom to come (Matt 6:10a); for God’s will to be done on earth as it is being done right now in heaven (Matt 6:10b); for our daily bread, both physical and spiritual, which is the Word of God (Matt 6:11); and to forgive us of our sins (Matt 6:12) as well as keep us out of temptation and deliver us from the Evil One (Matt 6:13).
I agree with Paul to “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (Col 4:2), but we need not find a place of prayer, for any place we are is the perfect place and time to pray.