When to pray – 8 circumstances that should trigger prayer
The Bible is clear that we should pray always–And we should. However, there are some circumstances in our lives that should trigger immediate prayer. In this post, I share eight circumstances that should trigger prayer.
1. When we are sad – sickness, death, marital conflict, conflict with children, loneliness, or whatever.
2. When we are happy. Don’t be like the nine lepers whom Jesus healed. They forgot to return and thank him for his blessings. We need to praise God.
“Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise.” James 1:13
3. When we are tempted. Jesus taught us to pray that we not enter into temptation. In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus taught us to say:,
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matt. 6:13).
“Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 NASB
Paul wrote, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. (1Cor. 10:13 NLT).
4. When we are worried. The Bible teaches us to cast their burdens on the Lord.
Paul wrote, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Phil. 4:6).
In Matthew 6:25-34 Jesus taught us about worry.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
5. When we have a great decision to make or problem to solve.
To solve difficult problems or make great decisions, we need god’s wisdom to guide us.
The Bible teaches that,” If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James. 1:5).
The day before Jesus chose his twelve apostles, he spent the entire night in prayer.
Before he was crucified, he spent time praying so hard that his sweat was like drops of blood.
Before he started his ministry, he fasted and prayed for 40 days and nights.
There are times when we must make big decisions which will affect the rest of our lives. In such hours, we need divine guidance. We must pray first before seeking the guidance of others.
6. When we are discouraged in living the Christian life, We should not quit. We need to turn to God in prayer. Jesus said,
“Men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Lk. 18:1).
Paul said, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Eph. 6:18). When we are discouraged, let us ask God to send us some help in the form of other Christians.
7. When we have evil thoughts. Lust, stealing, disobedience, jealousy, malice, slander. The devil is always going to put thoughts in our minds. But we cannot dwell on those thoughts and act on them. I have been told that some of you steal. That starts with a thought that Satan puts in your heart. Then you take it and dwell on it, accept it and start devising schemes to carry out the act. Then you become a servant of Satan because you allowed that thought. The way to stop it is to reject the thought and pray to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Everything that you do or feel starts with a thought. Our thoughts control our feelings. We get angry because of our thoughts. Some of you are thinking about premarital sex, you want to sin like that because you have allowed the thought dwell in your head. It’s not your fault that the thought came to you. It’s your fault that you dwell on it and keep. So what should you do? Reject the thought the moment it comes and go and kneel down and pray to God to help you overcome the temptation of the devil.
We cannot keep birds from flying over our heads, but we can prevent them from nesting in our hair. In the same way, we cannot prevent every temptation, but we can keep ourselves from dwelling on these evil thoughts.
8. When we have sinned. John instructed us to pray for forgiveness of our sins. He said, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1John: 1:7-9).
Remember that we are to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17).