Congratulations! If you’re reading this blog post, you have a deep desire to know Jesus in prayer.
You won’t be disappointed! Jesus is the most joyful, beautiful, loving, and gentle being in the entire universe, and He wants you to experience the fullness of His heart in prayer. With His own hands, Jesus fashioned you in His likeness. Because you’re made in His likeness, you are able to go deep into His heart.
Related Post: What it Means to Be an Image-Bearer of God
As you spend quality time with Him each day, He will increase His power in you and transform your heart.
Why One Hour of Prayer a Day Is Necessary
Is one hour a day with Jesus necessary? Absolutely. I’ve been going deep in prayer and discipling others in prayer for 20 years, and for many reasons, I encourage people to spend 1-2 hours a day with Him. I’ve given Him an hour or more this since I was 20 years old, and it’s proven doable, powerful, and enjoyable in every season of my life.
Right Perspective of Prayer
Before I get into why 1-2 hours is necessary and helpful, I want to point out that the question of how much time to spend with God is laced with accusations. What I mean by this is that many times people ask the question based on the assumption that prayer is going to be boring and that God is boring. So they ask the question with the religious perspective, knowing prayer is biblical and necessary, but just wanting to do it for the assumed spiritual benefits.
Others ask how much prayer is necessary because they want to the minimum amount of time “required” to be a good christian and gain the spiritual benefits of time with God.
Think of prayer differently. Think of it as spending time with the most beautiful, life-filled God who wants to spend time with You and lavish His love on your heart every day. Come from that perspective and you’ll want to find more and more time with God.
1-2 of Hours of Prayer Helps You Quiet Down
Practically, this amount of time allows you to quiet your thoughts and emotions and really connect to Jesus through praying, worshiping, and reading the Bible. Again, I’ve been in full-time prayer ministry for over 16 years, I know by experience that time is necessary.
Many believers spend 5-15 minutes reading a quick devotional, reflecting on a Bible verse, or reading in the One-Year Bible, but it’s not enough time to really connect to Jesus. If we’re all self-aware, we’re probably still distracted in our devotional times for at least the first 15 minutes, so if that’s all the time you have, it’s not really doing that much.
Gives You Time to Go Deeper
Even if you’re focused the entire prayer time, you aren’t going to have enough time to go deep in anything, and you won’t be able to cultivate a strong connection with the Lord’s heart.
But with 1-2 hours, you have plenty of time to quiet down, get focused, and go deep in whatever you’re doing with the Lord on that given day. If it’s meditation, you have plenty of time to ponder, ask Him questions, journal, and sing your meditations.
If you’re studying the Bible, you have sufficient time to really think about and study the verses, wrestle with meanings, and respond in your heart. If it’s worshiping, you have the space to really open up your heart in singing and giving thanks to the Lord until your heart begins to flow in a greater way.
In any area of life, whether it’s your occupation, school studies, or hobbies, you would never spend 15 minutes doing something. How far can you get studying something or planning something meaningful in that amount of time?
Some of you reading this are dedicated and zealous with your time regarding your job or school or hobbies. I challenge you to be as dedicated with your time in Bible study and prayer.
Moving on, how do you spend an hour or more with God?
Prioritize God in Your Schedule
As believers, we have to prioritize time with Jesus in our daily lives above everything else. After all, He created us for Himself. It would be foolish to live our lives mostly distant and disconnected from Him because we’re too busy.
Scheduling an hour or more a day with Jesus is an expression of love and something we have to fight for.
- Look at your weekly schedule and write down the exact times WHEN you are going to pray in an undistracted way. You can start with 30 minutes a day if you want and progress into 1 hour weeks later, or jump right in to an hour a day. If that sounds really hard to you, I assure you it’s won’t be if you aim at connecting to Jesus.
If your schedule is too full, make some big decisions to remove things so that you can spend quality time with God everyday. Some seasons of life have more responsibilities than others, but I still believe 1-2 hours is wise and necessary in all of them.
What to Do With One Hour of Prayer
- Next, write down WHAT you will be reading in the Bible for the next month, WHAT you’ll be meditating on, and even make a short prayer list of 10 things you want to pray over your heart. Pick a book of the Bible or section of the Bible you’re interested in reading and make that your Bible direction. For meditation, pick 1 verse or a Bible story that you want to go deep in for a couple months.
- Though being flexible, follow your reading and meditation plan each day.
Example Schedule for Daily Prayer
- Monday: Bible reading – John (1 hour)
- Tuesday: Meditation/Pray-Reading – Ephesians 1:5 (1 hour)
- Wednesday: Bible reading – John (1 hour)
- Thursday: Meditation/Pray-Reading (1 hour)
- Friday: Personal Prayer list (30 minutes), worship (30 minutes)
- Saturday: Bible reading – John (1 Hour)
- Sunday: Personal Prayer list (30 minutes), worship (30 minutes)
Related Post: 6 Engaging Ways to Meditate on Jesus in the Gospels
When you begin your hour, take your time and connect to what you’re doing. Resist rushing through the prayer time. Instead, slow down and take in the meditation, reading, or worship and enjoy Jesus’ presence.
Remember, you’re not trying to pray for an hour so you can check something off your spiritual list. You are passionate about meeting with Jesus and knowing Him, and that’s why you’re praying longer, so embrace the time for what it is and you’ll grow in enjoying Him.
An hour will feel like a long time initially, but it won’t feel like enough time once you start connecting to God.
- To aid in connecting to God in your prayer times, I encourage you to have worship music playing in the background the entire time. Music is a God-ordained way to stay focused and connected to Him (and not falling asleep). Worship sustains an atmosphere of intimacy. At any point in your prayer time that you want, stop what you are doing and sing with the song.
- Try moving around throughout your prayer time. Walk around while singing, praying, or meditating, and rock back and forth in your chair when reading or studying. Moving will help you stay awake, but it also helps with staying focused.
- Join or start a prayer room at your church where people can spend their prayer times in the same room. Just sitting in the same room with music on and everyone doing their own prayer time with help you exponentially. I’m more consistent in daily prayer and spend more time in prayer because of spending so much time in prayer rooms with others.
What I Do With One Hour of Prayer
I prefer to spend time with the Lord soon after waking up. If I’m home with the kids, I have to wake up by 5am to get 1-2 hours of alone time.
- I begin most mornings with 10-15 minutes of praying and singing in tongues and then spend the last 45 minutes doing one of the things on the sample schedule. I alternate between Bible reading and meditation each day, and I stay focused on that day’s plan.
- I stay with my Bible reading direction and meditation verse for weeks at time to go deeper in them, and this makes a huge difference! Because of this, I can show up to my prayer times and feel connected much more quickly and feel like I’m progressing in the Word. Right now I’m studying themes in John and writing them down and meditating on Luke 1 and the story of Zecharias and Elizabeth.
- If I have 2 hours or more to pray, I either split the time between two things on my list (1 hour for reading and 1 hour for prayer list) or just stay with one thing for the entire time. This might sound crazy to you, but once you’re going deep in the Bible or meditation, you will want more time and enjoy it. God is enjoyable!
- I have music playing through most of my prayer times. Sometimes I have worship songs going or I play worship pads/instrumentals. I play guitar, so I can play worship songs or just play music while meditating on something when I want to.
- I’m almost always moving, whether that’s slowly walking or rocking in my chair. I can read the Bible, meditate, do my prayer list, and worship while I walk in my room. I love it!
- I spend half of my personal prayer times in a corporate prayer room. Some days it’s my job to do so, and other days I come because I like it, and it helps me. I’m an introvert, but I’ve learned to navigate having my alone time with God in a room with others. It’s totally worth learning how to do this.
One-Hour Prayer Methods to Avoid
There are some one hour prayer methods out there that I don’t think are helpful for cultivating intimacy with Jesus. As a pattern, they try to help believers pray longer but it’s through really short 5-10 minute prayer segments with different focuses. In my opinion, even 15 minute segments would be too quick.
I appreciate the intentions of the prayer guides, but the brevity of the structure is almost anti-prayer. The essence of prayer is slow and deep conversation with the Lord, which takes more than 5 minutes on different topics.
I get the feeling from quick prayer models that they are trying to help spiritually bored people get through boring prayer times with a boring God. Instead, stay focused on 1-2 things and get your heart flowing in prayer back to God. Yes, it can be hard initially, but going slow and deep will quickly turn into enjoyable prayer, and you won’t need the fast paced prayer guides.
For additional help, consider purchasing the Going Deeper Workbook and Video Course to go deeper in the topic daily prayer. In a comprehensive way, this 40-week workbook inspires and equips you to spend 1-2 hours (or more) of enjoyable time with Jesus.
Additionally, you can join our Facebook Group, “Cultivate Encountering Jesus” for more support and direct encouragement. Search for this group on Facebook and we’ll grant permission to join the group.
Going Deeper Videos and Workbook