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How Long to Pray


The extent of your prayer should be until tears come.

 

The extent of your prayer should be until tears come.

- A Rule for Hermits (Irish, 9th century)

O LORD God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people's prayers? You have fed them with the bread of tears and given them tears to drink in full measure.

- Psalm 80.4, 5

Have you ever participated in a time of prayer when people were actually brought to tears because of their sin and shame? When people were crushed under the weight of God's immanent glory and humiliated to the point of tears because of the enormity of His grace to undeserving sinners such as we?

Celtic Christian monks of certain monastic families ("paruchiae") did not consider that they had prayed enough until the tears were flowing down their cheeks. These folks labored in prayer, working their way through the psalms on a regular basis, connecting with God through His own prayer scripts so that they could be more certain their words were getting through. They changed their world.

We are a people of paltry prayers. Is it because we don't believe in prayer? Or only believe in it for so much? Or don't know how to pray? Or is it that, in our prayers, we aren't really aware of being in the presence of the holy and eternal God?

I'm sometimes asked by pastors and other church leaders how long I think it reasonable to pray. I can't think of a better way to answer. Pray until the tears flow because the Lord of glory has touched the socket of your soul and dislodged you with pain from your comfort and confidence.

And when that happens, friend, you will be brought to tears. And if you are once brought to tears in your prayers, you will want to pray more than you ever have before.

Today in ReVision: That's What I Want - What have Americans come to as a people?

This Week's Download: Soul Friends - Here's someone you can weep with in your prayers.

Revival Prayer tomorrow night at 9 Eastern. Call-in and join folks from all around the country and Canada as we plead with the Lord to revive us. Write to me and I'll ask Carl Waggoner, our prayer coordinator, to get you the call-in information and prayer guide.

T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore

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