Short Prayers vs Long Prayers
Working on the classics column of our January issue of Prayer Connect, I read an interesting comment by Frank C. Laubach “If we pray for them (speaking of individuals for whom we pray) ten seconds several times each day we shall be more likely to secure results than if we prayed once for half an hour.”
While I can’t support it fully from Scripture, I have always suspected that is true. Somewhere in the past century, Christian disciplers who stressed having a morning quiet time (an important practice I am not against) left the impression that prayer must happen in a long block, usually first thing in the morning. Yet Scripture says, to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Now whatever that looks like, it does not look like a quiet time all day long.
When polled on their prayer lives, or lack thereof, by far the number one reason people say they do not pray is “busyness—too busy.” They are thinking that prayer means sitting down with a Bible and spending 15-30 minutes first thing in the morning. These people do not realize they can pray anytime, anywhere, for any length of time. They have been miss-discipled somehow.
In my own life, I find more of a flow spiritually when I have days where I am praying multiple times, rather than one main time. Shooting up short prayers in specific situations at work, asking God a question when I am in the car driving—then listening (without the radio on), breath prayers like, “Jesus, give me more hunger for you.” I also try to shoot intercessory prayers up throughout the day as a person comes to mind.
I am trying to develop my prayer life to me such that whenever I have a moment where I do not have to think about something, I could think about anything, my thoughts automatically go into God’s presence.
Teach people that prayer can be a significant part of their day if they would learn to pray short prayers all day long, and watch what happens to their spiritual lives. I think many would be revolutionized!
Jonathan Graf is the publisher of Prayer Connect and a popular speaker on prayer.