It was 7:30 AM, local time, and a Christian family got ready to leave home. The man would drive his two daughters to school, drop off his spouse at work, and then get himself to his own office for the day’s work. They never left home without saying a prayer. On the day in question, that was not the case, because they were literally running out of doors as they realized that being late to school and to work for that day was hardly avoidable. As they got into the car however, the man said, “We shall take just a minute to say a prayer before starting out.” They did just that. It turned out that the one minute they spent praying in the car was the exact same amount of time it took for the man to avoid a dangerous riot happening in the volatile community where his office was located. Many cars were smashed and people got hurt but he was able to make it out safely.
“Pray without ceasing.”
In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, we are admonished to pray continually. But somebody once asked how it is possible to pray without ceasing. To start with, any time, every time is a right time to pray, because the Spirit of God moves and leads prayer once we are indwelt by the Spirit. In other words, the Spirit teaches us to pray. But somebody may say, ‘I don’t have the time to pray.’ That is because you are thinking of a specific position–like kneeling, clasping the hands with head bowed, or some other pious behavior. Know this however, that Prayer has no location and has no specific position. Prayer is bringing God with you wherever you go; it is an attitude of heart. Prayer is faith expressed, a commitment to God which affirms that you understand that He hears you. Prayer is communication with God. It can be done silently–1 Samuel 1:9-17–and can be said in a room filled with a thousand people and yet no one feels disturbed.
The testimony used above of a praying family is just one of many examples. And one may ask at what point God answered their prayer. This family does not depend on what is happening outside in order to pray, although prayer will also take that into account. Rather, they pray regardless of circumstance, including when things are looking up, in what then may be called a prayer of thanksgiving just like the one they said in the morning before they left home.
Whether somebody just started praying because of a scare like the coronavirus for example, or because of some other serious matter, it is okay. Just remember that there is hardly any expertise in speaking to God. He will respond to all who faithfully seek Him. But you must acknowledge Him in all your ways. A faithful prayer-life needs persistence, commitment, and a constancy of confession. It all starts with the Spirit of God. The indwelling by the Spirit is not often automatic, and the believer may need to seek God diligently for it to happen (Acts 10:1-48, 19:1-7), as this marks the beginning of real spiritual growth.