Does It Matter When and Where We Pray?
When Jesus introduced prayer by saying, Our Father (Matthew 6:9), he reminded us that prayer is more personal than prescriptive. Prayer is a “divine dialogue” between God and those who have a relationship with him. Therefore, we are welcome to come to God anytime and anywhere.
Like Jesus, we may pray early in the morning (Mark 1:35) or in the evening (Mark 14:32). We may pray when we are afraid (Psalm 119:145–146), when we are in need (Matthew 7:7–12) or when we lack wisdom (James 1:5). We may also pray to express the joy (Philippians 1:4) and the gratitude (1Thessalonians 5:16–18) we feel when we see God at work around us. And while many of our prayers include requests for our personal needs, it is right to pray for others (1Thessalonians 5:25), including those in authority (1Timothy 2:1–2) and even our enemies (Matthew 5:44). We should pray on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests (Ephesians 6:18).
Our prayers at any time may also be offered in any place. Hannah’s prayer in the temple (1Samuel 1:9–11) was no more spiritual than Moses’ prayer in the desert (Exodus 32:11–14). Jesus prayed in a garden (Mark 14:32–42). Jonah prayed in the belly of a fish (Jonah 2:1 10). Paul prayed in prison (Acts 16:22–25). Nehemiah prayed in the king’s court (Nehemiah 2:4). No matter where we are, we can always be assured of reception with God when we pray.