How Much Time Should I Spend Praying?

If you love someone, you spend time with them. You do this not because you have to, but because you want to.  Time is a major currency of love.

Those of us who claim to love God should naturally desire to spend more time with Him. We can do this by praying, worshiping, meditating upon his Word, etc.  I don’t believe in excessive formality and can find nothing in the New Testament that stipulates such.

What I do find myself conflicted about is how much time to spend in the Lord’s presence. In my youth I was inadvertently taught by some to measure spiritual growth by how much time I was spending in prayer.  “How can you still be praying for only 1 hour each day?” they would ask, “Why have you not progressed to 2?”   In more recent years I came across a minister who regularly advocated praying in tongues for at least 1 hour each day for better spiritual health.

You have the verses of Scripture that speak against making a pretense of long prayer, but then you also have Jesus himself praying all night on mountain tops.  You have “the Lord’s prayer”, short and succinct in Matthew 6, and then you also have prayers such as John 17 which are longer and see Jesus pouring out his heart to the Father.

My conclusion? It’s not about whether the prayer is long or short, but about the quality of the connection itself. I believe that because we love God, if we love God, we will ultimately gravitate towards spending more time with Him in various ways.  This will happen automatically and not out of a sense of obligation or in a burdensome way. I also believe that if we spend no time with Him at all, then this is a sure signal that something is wrong with our spiritual state and eventually, this disconnect is likely going to become apparent in our daily lives.

May God fill our hearts with more love for Him and cause us to enjoy spending time in His presence!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *