A number of years ago a man named Dick Eastman developed a great prayer pattern. He based his work on Jesus question to the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, "Could you not tarry one hour?" His implication is that one hour must be the amount of time that a Christian should pray. Before you freak out, let me say that most Christians, even most Christian leaders, do not pray for an hour at a stretch. However, most Christians would agree that an hour is a noble goal.
That's why Eastman came up with his "Hour That Changes the World" prayer wheel. You can see the wheel and read an expanded outline at http://www.globaldayofprayer.com/downloads/247/One%20Hour%20Prayer%20Model%20-%20Hour%20that%20changes%20the%20world.pdf. For our purposes, let's briefly look at each of the 12 areas of prayer. If you spend five minutes praying in each of them, you will have prayed an hour.
- Praise and Worship. Begin your prayer time by telling God how great you think he is and how much you love him.
- Wait on the Lord. Do not spend all of your time talking. After you talk to God, allow him to talk to you. Wait for his leading for your prayers.
- Confession. Be sure to spend time repenting of your sins. We all have sins and we need to give them to the Lord so we can be forgiven.
- Pray the Scriptures. Use the Bible to guide your prayers. Some times you may just want to read God's word to you. In other times you may want to pray one of David's Psalms.
- Watching. This is when we are aware of what is going on the world around us. Pray against evil, for protection and about world events.
- Intercession. When we intercede we are praying for the needs of and on behalf of others.
- Petitions. This is when we pray for our own needs.
- Thanksgiving. Never forget to thank God for all that he has done for you, today, in the past and always.
- Singing. I know that this is not every one's favorite thing, but spend some time singing to God. Find some privacy and sing a hymn or song of praise to the Lord.
- Contemplation/Meditation. When we meditate we are examining our relationship with God, the claims of God and the goodness of God.
- Listening. After all of this talking, be sure to listen to see if there is anything God calls to your mind. He might want to remind you of something else to pray about.
- Praise. At the conclusion of your prayer, be sure that God is in charge of your life. Make him the Lord of all you have and all you are.
Don't get stressed out and upset if you cannot make it for a whole hour. But, use this outline to expand your variety of prayer, and the consistency of your prayer. You will never be sorry for praying more.
Prayer: Help me to pray, o Lord. Give me patience, consistency and perseverance. Show me how to be creative in my prayer time. And meet me in prayer, God, so that my time will always be new. I pray that in the name of Jesus my Lord. Amen.