Why Spontaneous Prayer and Planned Prayer are Both Important
- Megan Hill
- 2016 1 Jul
This is a guest post by Megan Hill, author of Praying Together: The Priority and Privilege of Prayer: In Our Homes, Communities, and Churches. Megan and eight other trusted authors have contributed to a 14-day email devotional for women called Refresh. Sign up for free today!
Dependent Every Moment
First, there is spontaneous prayer. Spontaneous prayer is when you’re with somebody and something happens or they tell you about something and you say, "Can we pray about that together right now?" Then, there is planned prayer. Planned prayer is when you have a weekly Bible study and you regularly pray with those women or with the people in that group. Or again, we pray every Sunday in church. That’s planned prayer. We need both of those kinds of prayer.
We need spontaneous prayer because we are dependent every moment on the Lord, and we are together dependent on him. Praying about something right in the moment reminds us of that very dependence.
We also need planned prayer. Sometimes we forget that we need to pray. We forget that we’re dependent on the Lord. Knowing that every Wednesday we’re going to pray together reminds us that we indeed need the Lord every week, even if there’s no looming crisis. So both spontaneous and planned prayer are helpful.
In A Treatise on Prayer, Edward Bickersteth advises, "Watch for favorable opportunities of prayer." In other words, keep your eyes out and look for a chance to pray. We look at the church schedule or at the community schedule or at our Bible study schedule and we think, "Where can we have a chance to pray together?" And then, as we go into our day, we ask the Lord, "Show me somebody that I can pray with. Give me an opportunity to pray with somebody." And we keep our eyes open for those opportunities. We’ll be surprised at what the Lord brings into our life.
Written by Megan Hill, author of Praying Together: The Priority and Privilege of Prayer: In Our Homes, Communities, and Churches. Originally appearing on Crossway.org. Used with permission.
Megan Hill is a pastor’s wife and a pastor’s daughter who has spent her life praying with others. She serves on the editorial board for Christianity Today and is a regular contributor to Her.meneutics and the Gospel Coalition. She is the author of Praying Together: The Priority and Privilege of Prayer: In Our Homes, Communities, and Churches.
Publication date: July 1, 2016