Do I need to pray once or often?



Question: “Since God does not forget, should I pray once or should I pray often?  Is praying often considered not showing faith?”



Bible Answers

The question of “should we repeatedly offer the same prayer or do we only pray once” as we know God has heard us, is a question that has been repeatedly asked through the ages.


We find many examples of instructions in scripture that we should continue to bring our requests before the Lord. The reason is simple. Not that God keeps forgetting or that we need to keep reminding Him, but because we need to continue in faith and trust to follow God’s instructions. Bringing our requests to God, honors God.

 

In everything we are to pray and ask for God’s guidance. do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6).


And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed (Mark 1:35). If Jesus believed He should pray, shouldn’t we also pray? If Jesus needed to pray to be in the Father’s will, how much more then do we need to pray?


Praying is being obedient and is an admission that only He can meet our needs. Time in prayer is time spent with God and God likes spending time with us.


Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you (Luke 11:9). Be persistent (Luke 11:5-8), and Pray and do not lose heart (Luke 11:8). We are instructed to keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking and in God’s perfect timing, if we are asking in His will (1 John 5:14), we will receive.


The apostle Paul said numerous times that he prayed continuously, did not stop, night and day, he prayed for others. Paul also prayed for himself three times (2 Corinthians 12:8-9), but the third time God said no and Paul never asked again. We likewise need to be willing to stop praying if God has said no. God will never override His own will.


Elijah the profit prayed seven times for rain (1 King 18:43-44) and Jesus Christ, our role model, prayed the same prayer three times in the garden (Matt 16:43).


Prayer is not intended as a means of getting God to do our will on earth, but is the process of getting God’s will done on earth.


When we believe God is answering or will answer, we can subsequently pray a prayer of thanksgiving for what God is doing. Doing so is being persistent, not in asking, but in thanking God for the answer.  


Praying blessings

Can I bestow the same blessing on someone more than once? …but you have blessed them these three times (Numbers 24:10). We can say blessing as often as we like or are led of the Lord.


Praying against the devil

Do I take authority and break the devil’s power once and then thank God or do I pray daily for the same issue? We are warned to be on guard and that when the house is swept clean, the demons may return. This pertains to a person who is not walking in faith as the person’s next sin will open the door to Satan and break our prayer.  Not knowing when they may sin, we need to pray repeatedly. If the person is walking in the Lord, we should only need to pray against the enemy once for that issue.  If they are not walking with the Lord, we keep praying against the devil for them and as the Holy Spirit leads us.


Vain repetition

Matt 6:7-8 talks about not using vain repetition as the heathen do. We are not to pray the same thing over and over without faith. Without faith, we are only chanting words. We are not to chant words to God. However, repeating the Word of God over and over is desirable as this increases our faith and renews our mind. Praying scripture is pleasing to God and can be prayed as often as desired.


Conclusion

While it sounds very noble to pray once and then say that “I want to show faith by not praying a second time,” this approach is not upheld by scripture.  Rather we are told to Keep asking, keep seeking, and keep knocking [being persistent] and the door will be opened to us. As much as possible, pray scripture. For example: “Lord, your Word says, by His stripes I am healed. Lord I claim that I am healed by your stripes.”  Then in faith, if we believe that we are receiving the answer, we can pray a “thank you” prayer.



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