How Long Should You Pray?

Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. (Luke 7:47, KJV)

What would have happened if God gave us strict commandments on how long we should pray? We would likely begin to measure ourselves by how much we pray and even compare ourselves with each other. Thankfully, God has not given any commandment as to how long you should pray. But He has given us enough information and wisdom to answer this question in His Word. Today, we will use the unlikely example of the sinful woman who cleaned Jesus’ feet.

While Jesus was sitting in a Pharisee’s house, a sinful woman came into the house, weeping at His feet and wiping them with her hair. When the religious Pharisee objected to this in his heart, Jesus responded to his unspoken thoughts and said she shows much love because her sins have been forgiven. Here’s the principle: Her love was proportional to the number of sins forgiven.

But how does this relate to our prayer life? Rather than giving us a fixed commandment, God allows us to seek Him based on the hunger in our hearts. Whether you seek Him in prayer for 5 minutes daily or one hour, He still loves you as His child. The duration of your prayers does not make you a child of God or make Him love you more than others.

You may be tempted to ask, what advantage is there in seeking God in prayer more? Why pray for 1 hour if we can pray for 5 minutes every day? Well, here is the truth: we reap what you sow. If we spend 5 minutes with God, we will experience Him and get results worth 5 minutes. In this age of drive-throughs and quick results, we would all prefer to sow 10 minutes and reap results for 30 minutes, 1 hour, or 2 hours, but it does not work that way. What is the size of your hunger for God? What are you content with? Let those drive you. He pours water on those who are thirsty, and if you open your mouth wide, He will fill it!


What is the size of your hunger or thirst for God in your heart?

Apply the Word

What results are you looking for in your Christian life? Determine what you want (your hunger) and sow the seed. If you want to be full of God daily, experience His presence and power in ways that will astonish you, then sow in your relationship with God in prayer. If you want to date Jesus and hang in there until you reach heaven, you can give Him tips for your time in prayer. Whatever the case, He still loves you, but you will see Him differently.


Ask the Spirit to create a desire for intimacy with Him and to make you restless until you see His glory and power in your life.

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  1. Thank you Brother Patrick for all your insights and encouragements to grow in our relationship with God. They are unique. Please share how one can have intimacy with God through prayer, that might not necessarily come with the reading of a scripture passage and praying for various needs, which I think is what most Christians do.

    1. You are welcome Lalitha. Thank you for those encouraging words. Prayer is a mystery, a heavenly device that connects us to the Lord is a way beyond our comprehension. Yes, many of us have only known prayer as a means of asking God for our needs. Yes, this is part of what prayer does but it is not where the greatest benefit of prayer lies. The mystery of prayer lies in the fellowship or communion we have with the Father, whether it is in asking things from Him or even just sitting there in His presence and saying nothing. If believers will cultivate a habit of daily prayer as our Lord demonstrated, seeking time to be with the Father in fellowship and allowing His presence bath us in glory and power daily, the world will be turned up side down for the good by the Church. I have written extensively about prayer which you will find under the category called “prayer”. This is the link for your convenience. I will encourage you to also read this devotional explaining dimensions of prayer Prayer is just one device for the building up of our spiritual lives as I shared in the devotional of April 16h. We also need the Word to grow. I will encourage you to cultivate that determination you already have in your heart to pray, not with the purpose of asking this or that from God as you have rightly said, but to be in fellowship with the Father in prayer consistently as Jesus did. Do it repeatedly, daily for a few weeks or months and see what happens to you. You will begin to know God’s voice and presence in a way that will surprise you. And the sweetest part of it all is that the Father so much enjoys our time in fellowship with Him in prayer. Many of us do not know but it is important we do!
      Please ensure you have obtained a copy of our book “The Devotional Life: Your key to a spiritual life with results”. The PDF copy was made free a few days ago. If you did not obtain it, please let me know and I will send a free PDF to you. My joy is to see believers with such a heart as you have for growing in the faith and becoming more intimate with the Father.

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