There are a couple of things that come to mind when I think about the phrase “hour of prayer.” One is that grand old hymn that I grew up with entitled “Sweet Hour of Prayer,” written in 1845 by William Walford.
The third line goes like this:
Sweet hour of prayer! Sweet hour of prayer!
Thy wings shall my petition bear
To Him whose truth and faithfulness
Engage the waiting soul to bless.
And since He bids me seek His face,
Believe His Word and trust His grace,
I’ll cast on Him my every care
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!
As I grew up in a church, that song was sung regularly, but I wasn’t sure that I even knew anyone who had a sweet hour of prayer. Prayer meetings were sparsely attended, and prayer didn’t go on for nearly an hour, and it usually wasn’t “sweet.”
The second thought that comes to mind has to do with being reminded of something I recently read in the book of Acts. In Acts 3:1 it says that Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer. In Acts 10:3 it was about the ninth hour of the day when Cornelius was given a vision from God in response to prayer. On the next day, in Acts 10:9, Peter again was going up to pray at about the sixth hour of the day.
Even though these might not have been hour-long prayers, there were apparently common hours of prayer in the Old and New Testaments . . . set times when saints would gather to pray.
What about your church? What about your family? What about you? Are there specific times when your church prays? When your family prays? When you pray?
For example, some of our OneCry leadership team prays each weekday at 11:00. Some have a family worship time each day. Personally, you may have set times when you pray and seek the Lord.
We are all familiar with the Islam faith that calls their followers to bow and pray five set times a day. How tragic it would be for us who know the living God and who are in desperate need of His help and assistance to be found lacking.
Remember that OneCry is calling the people of God to turn, pray, and unite. We must pray alone and together.
If it’s not already true, I want to challenge you to have set times of prayer. I usually seek the Lord privately early in the morning; I usually join others to pray at the 11 o’clock hour, I set my phone alarm at 7:14 each evening to remind me to stop and pray, and our family often has family worship and prayer in the late evening.
It’s not about making some new rules, but if we aren’t intentional and disciplined, we will be missing important aspects of personal relationship with Christ and needful revival praying. Revival is both birthed and maintained in prayer. Come, let us pray together!
Do you have sweet hours of prayer? Do you have any hours of prayer?