Have you ever made plans to attend an event and realized after you started getting ready that you had the wrong start time? Perhaps you've forgotten to adjust your clock during daylight savings time and ended up being late. These two examples demonstrate the importance of being aware of timing. Timing is critical in our prayer life too. Not only do we need to pay attention to timing when we pray, but also it is important that when we receive specific directions from God during prayer that we don't move ahead or lag behind God.
Let’s first address why timing is important when we pray. There is no law or rule that says prayer has to be done at a certain time of day or in a certain way. The bible references several different times for prayer, but what is key is that we respond to God’s prompting to pray. Have you ever found yourself waking up early around the same time consecutively for several days? No matter what you did to try to go back to sleep it didn't work and by the time you did fall asleep it was time to get up. The majority of the time when this happens, God is trying to get our attention. He wants us to wake up and spend time in prayer so that he can download some important information. He may place someone on our heart to pray for or there may be something going on in the world that we need to pray against. Nevertheless, if we fail to get up, we miss God’s timing to use us to make an impact in someone’s life or in the world.
Our response time to God’s instructions during prayer is also key. Just like in a basketball game if you stay in the lane too long your team is penalized and you lose the ball. If we don't make a move when God says, if we remain stagnant, we lose the opportunity to fulfill God’s plan in the earth. Yes, often we get another opportunity, but it is best to move when God says move. If we spend too much time rationalizing and trying to make sense of the instructions, we create an opportunity for the enemy to come in and infiltrate our mind, which again causes us not to move. I liken this to when the quarterback is spending too much time trying to find a specific person open to throw the ball to and he ends up getting sacked. It wasn't that no one was open, but he was just set on throwing to a specific person and ended up going down.
Make a decision to be in God’s timing with your prayer life. If someone asks you to pray, pray right then. We don't always have to go into deep intercession when someone asks us to pray. Sometimes all that is needed is a quick prayer right at that moment, but if we don't pray then we will most likely forget to pray altogether. So what time is it in your prayer life? Is it time to move out on what God has said or is it time to be still and know that He is God? Reevaluate your prayer life. Have you surrendered everything to God? Do you trust Him completely to come through on your behalf? Are you ready to take action in the timing that he has established? Take a moment today to answer the question, what time is it?
Be blessed, but first comes obedience!