Yesterday was all but an ordinary retightening appointment at Kinky Hair Studios. The conversation between my Christian self and my Muslim hair stylist, Roni, has given me the clarity I needed around setting aside time to have a conversation with God every day just as I do my BFF. Roni and I started out talking about the importance of posture when praying. Then, we jumped into the deep end headfirst when I asked, “Why do Muslims pray five times a day?” Without hesitation or taking offense, Roni explained. According to the Muslim faith, God ordered to them pray five daily prayers at five set times of the day. While these Salat times are based on the day and the position of the sun (dawn, sunrise, midday, sunset, and night), focused prayer time is about commitment. I have always been inspired about how deliberate they are about spending time in communication with God. Often times, I think about how I need to be more deliberate and committed to keeping specific times of day that I set aside time to talk to God. I’ve gotten comfortable praying while driving, lying in the bed, or rushing through prayers during the day when I look up and realize I haven’t acknowledged Him since morning prayer.
During this Lent season and while circling our prayers with a fast, what do you think about identifying specific times of day to pray? I am talking time that is uninterrupted and free of multitasking. If you are like me, you are probably thinking, “What if I adopt Salat times to say my Christian prayers? Will I be out of order?” To be sure, I researched what the bible has to say about God’s instructions around times when should we pray. Here is what I found:
Christians are supposed to pray all the time.
Pray continually. —1 Thessalonians 5:17
- Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. — Luke 18:1
- And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kind of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. — Ephesians 6:18
Jesus prayed early morning, before meals, at night, and before and after major events.
- Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. — Mark 1:35
- [Jesus] told the crowd to sit down on the ground. When he had taken the seven loaves and given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people, and they did so. — Mark 8:6
- After [Jesus] had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone. — Matthew 14:23
Daniel prayed three times a day.
- Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. —Daniel 6:10
- But I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. — Psalm 55:16-17
So based on the bible’s instruction to pray multiple times a day and Jesus and Daniel’s deliberate prayer life, I do not believe we would be out of order to pray at least 3-5 times a day at set times. For this next week (Monday – Sunday), I challenge myself and you to set times in your calendar and alarm clock to pray. You can go by Salat times (dawn, sunrise, midday, sunset, and night). These times change daily by a minute or so depending on the position of the sun. Click here to keep track. Or let’s commitment to our times based around Daniel’s three times a day (morning, noon, and night) coupled with Jesus’ times (before meals and before and after major events throughout the day).
In the comments, below, let us know how you set up your daily prayer life.