What is the right way and time to pray? The Bible says we should pray on all occasions with all kinds of prayers. It also admonishes us to pray continually, or without ceasing. You may be thinking, “How in the world can anyone pray on all occasions without ceasing? Seems like it’s mission impossible!”
Well, that would be true if prayer for you means you must be in a certain place with a certain posture and say certain words. On my recent trip to Rwanda, Africa, I spoke to the women about praying with eyes wide open, and encouraged them to learn to keep a conversation going with God throughout the day. One woman gave a testimony the next day, saying that she always thought you had to be in church to pray. She didn’t know she was allowed to pray at any other time or in any other way. “But,” she said, “now I know I can pray while I’m working or walking or whatever I’m doing.” She was so delighted to have this new freedom to pray at all times!
We traditionally close our eyes and bow our heads to pray, but there’s no requirement in the Bible for this posture in prayer. In fact, we won’t find any reference to closing eyes to pray. Certainly, sometimes there are good reasons for us to close our eyes and bow our heads in prayer, but that is not a requirement. Therefore, praying at all times or praying continually might not truly be impossible if we can pray at any time, in any position, and in any place, wouldn’t you agree?
Consider this: if prayer is limited to certain postures and places, then our prayer time is very limited, is it not? But if we can pray with eyes open, silently or verbally, anywhere and anytime, then we are much more likely to expand our prayer life and spend far more time in the presence of God. We just need to develop a new attitude toward prayer, and determine to keep a conversation going with God throughout the day, as er stand, sit, drive, run, work, lie down—whatever!
I want to encourage you to make it a practice to pray with your eyes open, to pray at all times in your day, and to talk with God throughout your day. Sometimes those prayers will be silent ones, sometimes you will verbalize them out loud. Either way, you can learn to let your automatic response to any situation be one of prayer—just talk to the Lord about it.