What is the first thing you say when you wake up in the morning? If you’re not saying ‘Thank You’ to the Lord then you’re starting your day off the wrong way. “O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.” (Psalm 5:3)
Prayer is hard to keep up on a consistent basis, however, the Bible does tell us to pray without ceasing “16 Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thessalonians 5:16-18). But when is the best time to pray? I have made it a point to talk to the Lord every morning before (and after) I roll out of bed. Morning prayer is so important for starting your day off right. You should be willing to take 10 -20 minutes every morning to talk to the Lord, even if it means getting up a little bit earlier.
Everyone should have an established prayer time. This requires some discipline but just like any relationship, it’s worth it. The best time to pray is the time that works best for you. It should be the time where you can be the most focused. A peaceful time of day (like before everyone else gets up), a time when you can think the most clearly. You should make time a.k.a. “an appointment” to talk to God just like you would with any other person. If it’s not on your schedule, it will be put off. You would certainly remember an appointment that you have with President Obama, wouldn’t you (even if you didn’t vote for him)? Keeping your appointment with God is far more important than an appointment with the President. Examine your schedule and figure out the best time of day for you to spend in prayer. Pencil it in on your calendar and keep this appointment, no matter what time of day it is.
A lot of people pray at the end of the day. I used to do that as well; and sometimes still do. Of course, nothing is wrong with this but when you pray at the end of the day are you really giving God your best? I’m mean, aren’t you physically tired, emotionally drained and just preoccupied? At the end of the day, no one feels like “connecting” with anyone, let alone with God. How many times have you been beyond exhausted and just ready to just plop down in your bed? But what happens when your very best friend calls? All traces of tiredness go away, and you can probably talk to them forever. Why is that? It’s because we have a different energy when we are talking with someone we enjoy. Unfortunately many people don’t feel this way about talking to God, so why wait until the end of the day to talk to Him?
Morning prayer is really good because it prepares you for the day ahead. When you get to the end of the day, it’s so easy to plop down in front of the TV and watch for hours at a time (football season, ahem!). That time is not reviving you spiritually at all. If anything, you may feel guilty for watching TV, going to bed and not spending any time with the Lord. Now don’t get me wrong, I am no morning person. It was the woman in Proverbs 31 who rose before the sun was up, but it was to tend to her household not specifically to pray. I’m sure she didn’t have to pack lunches, do a last minute homework check, curl her hair, go to the gym, let alone enjoy a cup of coffee first. Although things have changed quite a bit from the Bible days it still holds true that we should have a devoted prayer time and usually the morning is the best time to do this.
If your mornings and evenings are too crowded perhaps the best part of your day is in the middle of the day. Remember, it’s not about giving God your perfect time but your best time. Now, if you can’t seem to figure out your best time to pray then you need to rearrange your schedule; God should never have to be “squeezed” in. Maybe you need to get up a few minutes earlier. Or turn off the computer & television at night. Maybe you need to drop one or two chores (let someone else handle them). Whenever it is, finding time to pray is important. Even when interruptions occur we should still keep our “appointment” with God. Pray & leave the rest up to Him.
We are to pray continually, without ceasing. We are to pray morning, noon, and night. We are not bound by seasons, locations or even time as to when we can talk to God. We have access to God anytime we want, as did people in the Bible days –
“…he (Daniel) got down on his knees three times a time and prayed and gave thanks before his God.” (Daniel 6:10)
“Jesus prayed late at night in the Garden of Gethsemane.” (Matt. 26:36)
“Jesus got up early in the morning, while it was still dark to pray.” (Mark 1:35)
“LORD, you are the God who saves me; day and night I cry out to you.” Psalm 88:1
“But I cry to you for help, LORD; in the morning my prayer comes before you.” Psalm 88:13
“One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—the ninth hour.” Act 3:1
So in summation, when is the best time to pray? The answer is simple – NOW. Now is just as good a time as any to grow your relationship with the Lord.