Identifying pivotal times to pray is important.
However, we can't always predict when we will need to take time to pray. In order to truly put 1 Thessalonians 5:17 into practice, we must remain in close fellowship with God and be aware of His presence in our lives.
The ultimate goal is for prayer to be a regular and frequent habit throughout your day. Here is a list of potential moments that will require a spontaneous talk with God.
1. When newness comes into your life.
When something new comes into your life, it is worth spending some time praying about it and dedicating it to God. This could be a new house, car, friend, someone who just gave his or heart to Jesus or simply a new day of life.
What is something new in your life you can pray for now?
2. When you need something.
Every day, we have different needs arise in our lives.
God knows what these needs are and longs to come to you and meet you in those needs. Maybe you have a financial need, an emotional need or a physical one.
3. When confusion sets in.
Isaiah 55:9 says that God's thoughts are higher than our thoughts.
Let's face it, life is complicating and confusing. We can't see the big picture, so it is understandable to have times of confusion, wondering why something isn't working out like we thought it would.
When confusion sets in, go to God in prayer. His thoughts are higher than ours, He can handle any situation.
What is something that is confusing in your life right now that you might want to ask God to help you see more clearly?
4. When a crisis occurs.
Perhaps you are in a time of crisis. If not, I am guessing you can think of someone who is in a crisis and could use your prayers.
People post about the struggles they are having online all the time via social media. Just take a look at one of your social media feeds and when you see or notice someone in a crisis, stop and pray.
Take a moment to lift up these situations to God in prayer.
5. When sin stands in your way.
Nothing blocks your prayer life like sin, especially if you refuse to confess and surrender it to God.
We need to pray for forgiveness and repent in order to re-establish healthy communion with the Father. So often our initial reaction to sin is to cover it up, dismiss it and try to forget about it and move on.
We should never put petty sin above our loving God. If you get in the habit of confessing your sin to God, you will find yourself coming to Him more often for all areas in your life. Why? Because you are freed up from the weight of that sin.
Write down the names or initials of specific sins you need to confess, and pray that God would forgive you and heal your heart in that area. Ask Him to help you find your satisfaction in Him instead.
6. When stress consumes your life.
We know that even now something is tugging on your heart, maybe something that you have to do, or perhaps a relationship that is challenging.
It is hard to get away from the everyday stresses of life. Because they are such a daily issue in our lives, though, we should get in the habit of pausing and bringing those stresses to our Father.
Take a moment and write down the top three things you are stressed about at this time and remind God of your need for Him during those stressful moments.
7. When you are showered with blessings.
Now for a positive turn.
God is always good and He longs to give good gifts to His children (Matt. 7:11). Even during dark times in our lives, we can list off multiple blessings that God has given to us.
Joy follows gratefulness.
Remind yourself of a time when God proved that He is good and thank Him for it.
8. When burdens weigh you down.
Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
God wants us to bring our burdens to Him. Whether it's for the lost, our culture, those in desperate need and everything in-between.
Note some of the burdens that come to mind and bring those to the Lord.
9. When someone makes a request.
This is often the spontaneous part of prayer that comes easy.
When others request prayer, we should lift them up. God also wants us to bring our requests to Him but to do so with the right motives. James 4:3 is clear on that:
You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
A good exercise to do as you bring your requests to God is to do a gut check to be sure your motives are in the right place. We should never let lust, greed or pride motivate our prayers.
10. When you're able to rejoice.
Rejoice in the Lord always.
We have so much to rejoice over, even in hard times: successes, accomplishments, answered prayers and celebrations should prompt prayers of praise and thanksgiving back to God.
Learning to Pray Throughout the Day
Now that you have potential occasions for prayer, come up with some practical reminders. You could hang notes in strategic places, set reminders on your phone or team up with a friend to hold each other accountable.
The more you get in the habit of bringing conversation with God into a daily rhythm in your life, the more you can sense and feel God's presence and guidance day in and day out.
Excerpted from The Battle Plan for Prayer Bible study.
BONUS: Learn More About The Battle Plan for Prayer
The Battle Plan for Prayer Bible study equips believers to create their own prayer strategy and be specific and strategic in prayer. This study features teaching by Alex and Stephen Kendrick on the topics of: what prayer is and is not, why God wants us to pray, specific areas of prayer, specific strategies for prayer and more.