(The following questions are put forth as concisely worded reminders to help you be accountable to the all-important privilege and opportunity for daily prayer. The key, if your answers are negative, is not to become discouraged, guilty, or to find a way to justify yourself, but rather to consider the questions honestly and on a regular (daily) basis so that the Holy Spirit can carve out a place for prayer in your thinking and in your life.)
Question 1: Did you set aside quality time in a location where you would not be disturbed or disturb others for the intentional purpose of being alone with God in the secret place?
Anyone who has a relationship with Jesus understands the need to pray every day. But because we are frequently pressed for time we may try to turn our commute time into our secret place time. Don’t get me wrong: we should pray everywhere and at all times! But there is no replacement for time alone with God in a place where no one can see or hear you. Why? Well, first of all, it says something about our commitment to our love relationship with Jesus that we spend uninterrupted time with Him. It also allows for us to respond fully. As a Pentecostal believer, there are times in my prayer time when I need to cry, or shout, or clap my hands. I may feel the leading to lay prostrate before the Lord in surrender. I may even feel compelled to dance before the Lord. I’m less likely to feel the freedom to do that when I know others can see or hear me. Finally, if others are able to observe my secret place time they may be inclined to criticize, judge, or otherwise hinder my freedom in the Lord.
Question 2: If your answer to Question 1 was yes, was the balance of your time in the secret place spent pursuing your love relationship with Jesus or did you spend most of the time asking God for His help with needs?
We are exhorted to let our requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6). But prayer is first and foremost about our relationship with God! What would any of our other important relationships be like if all we did was ask for things? No! All of our petitions before the Lord must flow out of our close relationship to Him and be led by Him. Sometimes we convince ourselves that because we are praying for ministries that we should spend all of our time interceding for ministries. But that says to God that the mission is more important than He is! If we will delight ourselves in the Lord He will give us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4)!