Six Weeks To An Hour

Six Weeks To An Hour: A Journey to The Sweet Hour of Prayer

HOW CAN I PRAY FOR 1 HOUR?  

So, how do I pray? No one really knows how to pray but the Holy Spirit teaches us (Romans 8:26). It’s a daunting task to start from nothing and attempt lengthy prayer sessions. For the purpose of this guide, we will use an outline of the “Lord’s prayer,” or “The Model Prayer” as our guide.

 

Six Weeks to an Hour – Breaking it down

This handout is just a suggestion and a guide. Certainly feel free to break down your time in any manner you wish. You may even want to do another method (Such as ACTS, or AARP: Approach, Ask, Reflect, Praise). The key is to allocate time for each section of your prayer time. As you begin to become more comfortable with praying for longer periods of time, this structure you use and the time you allocate for each segment becomes less and less important. Eventually you will move away from a prayer structure as your prayer discipline matures and as you learn to recognize the Holy Spirit’s voice and learn to let Him guide your prayers.

 

Until that time, consider this: Question: How do you eat an elephant?

Answer: One piece at a time!

We will break up the hour into six bite-size chunks of maybe 10 minutes. This way it will not be so daunting. For week one, we will start off at 10 minutes and each week, we will add 10 minutes to the prayer time until we are on week six and a full hour of prayer. After six weeks of using this guide, you will be prepared to pray for a full hour. If you already have a 10, 20 or 30 minute prayer time, feel free to adjust this guide to suit your needs. If your prayer time is inconsistent and is rarely longer than 10 minutes, it would be beneficial to start at week 1.

 

  Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Part 1 1 Minute 2 Minutes 3 Minutes 4 Minutes 5 Minutes 5 Minutes
Part 2 3 Minutes 5 Minutes 8 Minutes 10 Minutes 13 Minutes 15 Minutes
Part 3 2 Minutes 4 Minutes 6 Minutes 8 Minutes 9 Minutes 10 Minutes
Part 4 2 Minutes 5 Minutes 7 Minutes 8 Minutes 10 Minutes 15 Minutes
Part 5 1 Minute 2 Minutes 4 Minutes 6 Minutes 8 Minutes 10 Minutes
Part 6 1 Minute 2 Minutes 3 Minutes 4 Minutes 5 Minutes 5 Minutes
Total 10 Minutes 20 Minutes 30 Minutes 40 Minutes 50 Minutes 60 Minutes

 

As we begin to train our minds and spirits to pray for lengthy periods, it’s helpful to pray in distinct segments. The easiest and most Biblical method of doing this is the Lord’s prayer. The version we are using for this guide is found in Matthew 6: 9-13 (KJV):


Part 1 – “Our Father, which art in heaven Hallowed be thy name”

It is important to center your prayer time on your recognition of who God is, the love you have for God and his love for you. Put the first commandment in first place i.e. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind and with all your soul…” and everything else will fall into place. It is from this place of love that you will be able to and desire to pray.

The first step is to worship God for WHO He is. You may find it helpful to meditate upon scripture. The Psalms are an excellent place to start, but they are by no means the end. Simply open your Bible, read a verse, or part of a verse, and let it sink in. Turn it into a prayer. The Bible says to “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom” (Colossians 3:16). You can simply take a Psalm or other passage of scripture and:

  • Personalize it
  • Turn the passage into a prayer.

It may be that you wish to sing a hymn or a song. During this time of worship, you can open a hymnal or use technology. If you have hymns or songs on your iPhone/CD/etc…pick an appropriate song and meditate on the words. One place to go is YouTube. Search “Christian Prayer Music” and you will have hundreds of choices. One in particular that I enjoy is “One Hour of Relaxing Hymns on Piano” by Kaleb Brasee. I also enjoy “Soft Prayer Music,” which is a 73 song playlist.

Our prayers must also be based on our understanding of who God is and acknowledgement that we need the Holy Spirit to help us. It might be helpful to remember “who” He is by remembering His names.

  • Jehovah Nissi – Our banner
  • Jehovah Tsidkenu – Our Righteousness
  • Jehovah Jireh – Our provider
  • Jehovah Shalom – Our peace
  • Jehovah Rapha – Our healer
  • Jehovah Shammah – Is there (present)
  • Jehovah R’oi – Our shepherd
  • Jehovah M’kaddesh: The Lord Who Sanctifies
  • Jehovah-Shammah: The Lord is There
  • Jehovah-Sabaoth: The Lord of Hosts
  • Kadosh – The Holy One
  • Palet – Deliverer
  • Yesha – Savior
  • Gaol – Redeemer
  • My Shield, My Strength, My Rock, Counselor, etc

During this time, just remember Him, honor Him and praise His name.


Part 2 – “Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be Done”

This is where we actively seek the will of the Lord in our life and our church. It is also a time that we stop speaking to God and listen. It is here we pray for God’s perfect will in our lives and the lives of those we love (which should be all men). One way we can know we are praying the will of the Father is to pray the scriptures. Here are some helpful suggestions when seeking the Lord’s will.

  • For my Pastor:
    • He may grant you to be strengthened with power through the Spirit in his inner being (Ephesians 3:16)
    • That God would open a door of utterance for the Word (Colossians 4:3)
    • That he would preach the Word faithfully, reproving and exhorting as necessary. (2 Timothy 4:2)
    • That he would be rooted and grounded in love (Ephesians 3:17)
    • Insight into scripture and an understanding of how it applies to people today.
    • Protection from the work of Satan.
    • Help him keep a soft heart in the face of abrasive and abusive people.
    • His personal spiritual growth.
    • A successful ministry – however God defines success in his life.
    • Boldness to speak the truth, and grace to speak it with humility.
    • That he would persevere through whatever trial he is facing.
    • His children – that they will grow up with a positive impression of church ministry.
    • That he would remain pure, and that his love for his wife would increase daily.
  • For my Church:
    • Ask God to draw people to the church or church activities, to help us connect with them, and to influence them spiritually.
    • Ask God to help everyone in our church who is a Christian grow spiritually, by becoming more pure in their hearts and lives, more obedient and more dependent on God.
    • Ask God to increase the number of people in our church who have truly died out to sin, self-centeredness and the values of our society, and are letting Jesus be lord.
    • Pray for God to raise up more spiritual leaders and influencers in our church. People who will be faithful and effective in ministry, and stay the course spiritually.
    • Pray for devotion and purity to essential doctrines. (Jude 3)
    • Ask God to break any power Satan has in individuals, in families, in the church and in our community.
    • Pray that false teachers will be discovered and put out from the flock. (Revelation 2:20)
    • Pray that the church will rediscover its first love of the work and person of Christ. (Revelation 2:4)
    • Pray that unity, love, hope, holiness, and good works will be manifested by the church so that it can be effective salt and light. (John 17:21; John 13:34-35; 1 Peter 3:15, Hebrews 12:14; Matthew 5:16)
    • Pray that Christians will grow up into maturity in the knowledge of Christ and His Word. (Ephesians 4:11-13)
    • Pray for more Christians to devote themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word. (Acts 2:42)
    • Pray for God to raise up workers and evangelists for His harvest. (Matthew 9:37-38)
    • Pray for brokenness over the eternal state of the lost. (Luke 15:8-9)
    • Pray for marriages and families to be strengthened. (Ephesians 5:22-6:4)
    • Pray for humility. (1 Peter 5:6)
    • Pray that the church will seek the wisdom of God and not of man. (James 1:5)
    • Pray God would send out more laborers into the harvest, knowing your time spent in prayer right now is the first step toward taking the light to the nations. Pray that He will show you how you might be involved in obeying the Great Commission. Pray that He will move in the lives of His people to see the unreached reached!
    • Of course, this is just a sample of things to pray for as there are many things we could pray for concerning revival and the church.
    • For Revival:
      • Pray that the church will rediscover its first love of the work and person of Christ. (Revelation 2:4)
      • Pray that unity, love, hope, holiness, and good works will be manifested by the church so that it can be effective salt and light. (John 17:21; John 13:34-35; 1 Peter 3:15, Hebrews 12:14; Matthew 5:16)
      •  Pray that pastors would preach the Word faithfully, reproving and exhorting as necessary. (2 Timothy 4:2)
      •  Pray that Christians will grow up into maturity in the knowledge of Christ and His Word. (Ephesians 4:11-13)
      •  Pray for more Christians to devote themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word. (Acts 2:42)
      •  Pray for God to raise up workers and evangelists for His harvest. (Matthew 9:37-38)
      •  Pray for brokenness over the eternal state of the lost. (Luke 15:8-9)
      •  Pray for marriages and families to be strengthened. (Ephesians 5:22-6:4)
      •  Pray for humility. (1 Peter 5:6)
      •  Pray that the church will seek the wisdom of God and not of man. (James 1:5)
    • Of course, this is just a sample of things to pray for as there are many things we could pray for concerning revival and the church.
  • In my City-State-Nation:
    • Pray for the Lord to draw the unreached to Himself, that He would pour out His Spirit of adoption (Rom. 8:15) on those whom He is drawing to Himself. As part of this Spirit of adoption, pray specifically for churches, individuals & families to adopt various unreached people groups through prayer, giving & going.
    • Pray the Lord will work to convict the unreached of idolatry which is a strong barrier against the gospel. Idols, such as deities, money, success, or any number of things can be raised against the knowledge of God. Pray that He will cause these people to question the strength & security of their idols.
    • Pray for a revival of sexual purity in our country.
    • Pray for those who are politically or economically oppressed–that the gospel would not be hindered by their state of oppression, but rather the gospel would transform their oppression into freedom. Pray for those who do not associate themselves with the gospel due to threats of oppression, that God will provide in the midst of, or remove completely, the oppression.
    • Pray for the believers currently living & ministering among the unreached, that God will protect them as He promises in scriptures such as Psalm 91–that He will be their sufficiency & their rear-guard, that His Word will be their shield & sword.
    • Pray for the salvation of leaders around the world, for national leaders & international leaders, such as ambassadors & special envoys. Pray also for those leaders who confess the faith to be sincere representations of Christ to those over whom they govern.
    • Pray for missionaries who are currently living among the unreached or preparing to go, that they will find favor in the eyes of the nationals & will exhibit sensitivity & wisdom in regard to preserving culture, while not inhibiting their delivery of the gospel. Pray for them as they engage in language study.
    • Pray for Christian men to set an example of tenderness toward their wives & children, that God will protect them from insults or ridicule & that His truth will prevail in their minds. Pray that their example will cause many others to seek after Christ.
    • Pray for Movie, TV and Music Celebrities. Name them specifically and pray that God will draw them to Himself (John 6:44). Pray that God will raise up people from WITHIN Hollywood (and the Music Industry) who would be a witness for Christ.
    • The PRESIDENT and GOVERNMENT…that they would…
      • Be saved and govern with a Biblical World View.
      • Realize their positions of authority were obtained either by God’s choice or His permissive will.
      • Recognize their personal inadequacy for the task of governing our country and look to the Lord for the wisdom, knowledge, and courage to succeed.
      • Reverse the destructive trends of humanism and atheism—which attempt to dethrone God and deify humanity—because they ultimately result in an ungodly society.
      • Reject all counsel that weakens our defenses against aggressors or endorses agreements that would do so in the future.
      • Remember their accountability to almighty God for their attitudes, motives, behaviors, and decisions that affect our nation.
  • In my family
    • For My Children:
      • Lord, let salvation spring up within my children, that they may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. (Isaiah 45:8; II Timothy 2:10)
      • I pray that they may “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18)
      • I pray that they may “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18)
      • Grant, Lord, that my children may learn to live a life of love through the Spirit who dwells in them. (Ephesians 5:2, Galatians 5:22)
      • May integrity and honesty be their virtue and their protection. (Psalm 25:21)
      • Father, help my children not to be like many others around them, but let them be “alert and self-controlled” in all they do. (1 Thessalonians 5:6)
      • Father, help my children grow to find Your Word “more precious than gold, than much pure gold; and sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.” (Psalm 19:10)
      • Father, grant that my children may “show proper respect to everyone,” as Your Word commands. (1 Peter 2:17)
      • Help my children develop a strong self-esteem that is rooted in the realization that they are “God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:10)
      • Grant that my children may “be generous and willing to share and so lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age.” (1 Timothy 6:18-19)
      • Lord, please cultivate in my children the ability to show true humility toward all. (Titus 3:2)
      • Grant, Lord, that my children’s lives may be marked by prayerfulness, that they may learn to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” (Ephesians 6:18)
      • Lord, please clothe my children with the virtue of compassion. (Colossians 3:12)
      • “Create in them a pure heart, O God,” and let their purity of heart be shown in their actions. (Psalm 51:10)
      • Father, I pray that my children may develop self-discipline, that they may acquire “a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right and just and fair.” (Proverbs 1:3)
      • Lord, please help my children to develop a heart for missions, a desire to see Your glory declared among the nations, Your marvelous deeds among all peoples. (Psalm 96:3)
    • For My Spouse:
      • That she/he might become a holy woman/man of prayer, mature in the Lord, growing in her/his knowledge of the Lord.
      • That she/he would be strong and perfect, fully confident of the whole will of God.
      • Enlighten her/his heart to be able to understand the wonderful future God has promised. May she/he realize what a rich and glorious inheritance God has given her/him. May she/he understand the great power (resurrection power) You have given to her/him. (Ephesians 1: 18, 19)
      • Give her/him inner strength through the Holy Spirit from Your unlimited resources. I pray that You will be more and more at home in her/his heart as she/he trusts in You. May her/his roots go deep down into the soil of Your marvelous love. May she/he experience Your love so she/he can be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from You alone.
    • In my own life
      • Ask God to identify His purpose and plan for your life.
      • Ask Him to give you Wisdom to lead your family
      • Ask to be a witness for the Gospel
      • Ask God to identify “civilian pursuits” that entangle you…and keep you from Him (2 Timothy 2:4)
      • Ask God what it is you need to “sell” in order to obtain the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 13:44, 46)
  • For the Lost.
    • Identify them by name.
    • Pray for the lost to be saved according to the will of God (I Timothy 2:1-4; I John 5:13-15).
    • Pray for God to send laborers into the harvest (Matthew 9:37-38).
    • Pray for a witness of love to be among the brethren and for the lost (John 13:35; Jude 1:22).
    • Pray for God to use us in the harvest (Isaiah 6:8; Matthew 22:9).
    • Pray for a witness of righteousness and fear of the Lord. (I Peter 2:12; 3:1-2; Jude 1:23).
    • Pray for Satan to be bound so that people might be free to receive the gospel (Matthew 12:29; 18:18-19; II Corinthians 4:3-4).
    • Pray for there to be a witness of the miracles of God (Mark 16:20; Acts 4:29-30).
    • Pray for the door to be opened for the preaching of the gospel (I Corinthians 16:9; II Corinthians 2:12; Revelation 3:7-8).
    • Pray for there to be power for witnessing (Acts 1:8; I Corinthians 2:4).
    • Pray for boldness to share the gospel to the Lost (Acts 4:29-31; Ephesians 6:19).
  • For those who have backslidden
    • Identify them by name.
    • The backsliders to have the ability to receive the grace of God.
    • The backslider may have lived very immorally, and it is sometimes hard for him/her to imagine the Father ever wanting him/her back. Pray that he/she would be able to receive the Father’s love and forgiveness.
    • That the Lord would pour out His riches when the backslider returns. Pray that the Lord would lavish His love on the backslider and pour out blessings of every kind—spiritually, emotionally, physically, and financially.
    • Pray that the church will prepare their hearts to receive the backslider back with joy and excitement.
    • Those raised in church to have grace to accept those who are not quite so polished. Pray that the backslider who in some cases, has literally lived on the streets would be loved into total wholeness.
    • Pray that whatever or whoever the backslider is placing his/her trust in, outside of Jesus, would be removed from his/her life. Pray that what once brought him/her pleasure would be empty.
    • Pray for Holy hunger or Holy homesickness.
    • Pray that he/she would be constantly reminded of what it was like to be in fellowship with God. Pray that he/she would long for the cleansing relationship he/she once had.
    • Pray that he/she would realize something is wrong. Pray for his/her eyes to be open to the truth of his/her situation, and pray against any delusion the enemy would try to bring him/her.

Part 3 – “Give Us this Day Our Daily Bread”

Here is where you thank God for His provision and seek specific needs or requests. Your church’s prayer list comes in handy here. Also, thank him for everything you can remember. It is also a time in which you can meditate on a few verses of scripture. Thank God for what He has done, then read a verse or two over and over again and allow the verse to speak to your heart. For example, after thanking God for all that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind, you might read Psalm 23, verse 1, and mediate on what it means for God to be your shepherd and why God is saying to you about “I shall not want.” Read it over and over again and meditate on the word of God.


Part 4 – “And Forgive Us Our Debts As We Forgive Our Debtors”

In this section, we confess those things that we know God wants out of our life according to 1 John 1:9. This is also a time that we ask the Lord to reveal those things in our life that are not pleasing to Him and then remain silent until He reveals them to us. We then confess them and return to being silent.

If you desire, you can actually begin your hour of prayer with a time of confession. 1 John 1:9 says God is faithful to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Psalms 66:18 states “If I had regarded iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” Therefore, it is very important to confess sin and to get rid of that which separates you from God. If you do decide to begin your prayer with confession, I encourage you to also come back to confession of sin during this time. After some time spent in prayer, the Holy Spirit has likely revealed some things to your spirit you need to confess.

Confession is essential because it frees us to enjoy fellowship with Christ. True confession also involves a commitment not to continue in sin. We wouldn’t be genuinely confessing our sins to God if we planned to commit them again and just wanted temporary forgiveness.

We also pray for and forgive those who sin against us during this time according to Matthew 5:44. Ask the Lord to identify hidden animosities or bitterness you are keeping.


Part 5 – “And Lead Us Not Into Temptation But Deliver Us From Evil.”

Confession is to verbalize our spiritual shortcomings and admit we have sinned…confession is the act of declared admission. Being honest before God may lead us into some painful realization as to our need for seeking help, reconciliation or guidance. Here is where we pray for strength to defeat temptation the next time we face it. This is where we put on the whole armor of God according to Ephesians 6:13-18. We remember that if we submit to God and resist the devil, he will flee from us (James 4:7). During this time, ask God to give you the strength to fight those things which you have identified as weaknesses.


Part 6 – “For Thine Is The Kingdom And The Power And The Glory Forever. Amen.”

Here is another time to wait on the Lord and allow Him to reveal His purposes for your life and the life of your Church. Praise God for his love and His goodness to you. Praise Him for His mercy, praise Him for His grace. Bless Him and worship Him during this time.

Conclusion:

As you begin your journey towards times of extended prayer, you will certainly encounter difficulties…obstacles…trials….distractions! Do not lose heart….but persevere!

You may also feel you are running out of things to pray about. Here are some helpful sources of prayer material:

Remember the old saying: “Practice Makes Perfect!” and this is most true when it comes to prayer!