What Environments Are Conducive for Prayer?
The Environment for Prayer – Part 3
Have you ever been in an environment where you just felt like praying? In the previous installments, we spent our time discussing the physical places in which we find ourselves praying. In this message our goal is to focus on the environment in which we pray. It’s not just the physical location that we have to be aware of, but the atmosphere in which it’s done. Have you ever been in an atmosphere where you were certain that God heard you and you heard Him? This is the discussion we wish to address today.
In this message we will not only discuss the environment, but challenge our thinking regarding the environments we’ve created with this one goal in mind. That goal is to help you (you guessed it) take prayer to the next level. This is “next level prayer.”
Let’s go back to the concept of quiet time. I often hear individuals brag that they have a set quiet time. They might say I have a specific quiet time in lieu of prayer. [To the left] So let this sink in and sink in well. Because the scripture mentions that Jesus went to a place alone to pray does not mean He was having “quiet time.” Quiet time is not a substitution for prayer. In fact, it says that He went to “pray.”  Culture has made it so unpopular to say we pray and as a softer way to say it we use the phrase, “my quiet time.”
If you need a term for quiet time, I’ve found one in the Bible that does represent this. It’s called meditation.  Meditation is also not a substitution for having a conversation with God. Keep in mind that being alone praying is a good thing. In fact, one should spend as much time as possible alone talking to God, if one desires to go to the next level in prayer. However, it’s not quiet-time like a child being told he or she can’t speak during this time. Prayer is not “quiet time.”
Prayer Meeting or Prayer Service
How about a prayer meeting where we gather together specifically for prayer? Prayer meetings can create a problem that goes unnoticed and most often unaddressed. We make an assumption that those attending a prayer server know how to pray. What happens when we assume we know how to pray, but we really do not? How does this play itself out in a prayer meeting or prayer service?
I recall a time when I was training our daughter in the art or the exercise that we call prayer. We walked into our corporate prayer time, I mean, our prayer meeting as a church and my words to her were this. “Don’t look at the people in the room. They have no idea what prayer is just like you.” I made that statement generally so that she would not make the mistake of picking up a habit from another and assume it was prayer. The point is we come here to learn how to pray but no one really taught them how to pray so they’re just doing what they observe. My goal was to teach her how to take this type of prayer (corporate prayer) to the next level. In turning a prayer meeting like that into what we call the “training ground for prayer,” what we teach is then passed on so that others will see a next level example of prayer.
Back to the corporate prayer environment known as prayer service. There were people in that room that just sat there and watched others. Is that prayer? I know this may step on a few toes, but to get to the next level, it’s going to require some unconventional thinking. If you don’t want your toes stepped on or thinking challenged, I suggest you close the book, stop the recording, or close the browser. This is for the person who’s decided they’d like to go to new levels and higher heights. This is for people who are what I call pray-ers, people who are and to pray.
In prayer service, we may be with a group of people, but the conversation we’re having is just God and me. In fact, a corporate prayer environment should be noisy. It should be like having a white noise machine playing in the background. It should be filled with chatter. Oftentimes, I record the corporate prayer times we have in the prayer room so that I may play it back for the team. I like to let them hear for themselves what the sound of prayer is like and what God hears when we’re all praying aloud together with one voice, but many conversations. This is next level prayer.
When we pray before a sporting event, a stadium event, or large group of people, we call this an invocation. That word in itself almost gets a little confusing because we don’t use the word “prayer.” Even though the speaker asks you to bow your heads and then recites a prayer, it gives off an expression of prayer without saying that it is prayer. Why is that? Are we now ashamed to use the word “prayer?”
What is happening to us that prayer has become so unattractive? Let’s change this. For those who follow the messages we share on “next level prayer,” I can only imagine how excited you become when we speak of making prayer more attractive. In fact, I’m going to challenge you to help us with this mission. As I often say to the prayer team with whom I serve, before we can truly pray for others well, we need to connect. In other words, pray-ers should be well liked. Why? Because for the people we pray, we’re opening the door for them to see how easy it is to reach God. Invocation, let’s make that word unattractive and restore the word prayer to a level that everyone wants a part of it. This is next level prayer.
Bedtime Prayer / In the Bed and Out of the Bed
While we are most familiar with this prayer location, it’s the least Biblical. Imagine that. Prayer at bedtime or when your eyes open in the bed is the least Biblical. [To the left] Honestly, I think it’s the laziest way in which we pray. The scripture says that Jesus got up early, left the house and went to pray.  I get it’s a good thing to pray before going to bed or first thing when you awake. This lesson is for those who desire more. Next level prayer, simply means let’s take it beyond a Prayer 099 level. It means we’re willing to climb the mountain.  It means we will slip away into the wilderness.  It means we desire to get up early or stay up late  to pray. It means we don’t mind giving prayer more effort and climbing the mountain if we have to.  This is next level prayer, not average prayer, if there is such a thing. And while I’m there, average prayer might not be prayer at all. For I know that anyone who speaks with God can not / will not remain average, normal or common. Let’s go to the next level!
Moments of Silence
You know, they say you can no longer pray in your schools. So they have moments of silence. Is this prayer? Have we led others to believe that this is how we talk to God? Why doesn’t the person who desires to pray have no right to pray wherever? Is prayer so powerful when used that it required the United States to ban this action from our schools? Why else would it be banned? If it had no effect on others, no one would care if we did it or not.
Is your moment of silence being construed as prayer? Maybe the reason people don’t like prayer services or to pray is because they just don’t know how it’s supposed to be done. They saw us in a moment of silence and have now mistaken that for prayer. We have come to this conclusion as to why prayer services are the least attended services. It is because people don’t know how to pray. What contradicts this is that when a person is asked, does prayer work. Their response is a resounding “yes.” We’ve all concluded that prayer works. And if prayer works, and we know that it works, then why are our prayer services the least attended? You would think that if we believe that prayer works, our prayer services would be larger than our worship services on Sundays. It’s time we stop playing around with prayer. Pamela and I are on a mission and want you to join us. We’re going to transform the world as it relates to prayer. Being silent isn’t working. A moment of silence won’t cut it. Open up your mouth and speak to the King-of-Kings and Lord-of-Lords. I mentioned rights early; you have a right to speak to your God. 
Prayer Kneeler / Kneeling in Prayer
Should you kneel in prayer? You may not know this, but there’s not many occurrences where prayer requires kneeling. Normal people make this a practice, but the scripture-support implies that kneeling isn’t as much a practice as it is, rather, a prayer intensity. Psalms indicate that David bowed and kneeled in worship, not prayer. We know Jesus, Peter, and Daniel knelt to pray. My point isn’t to stop you from kneeling, but rather give a perspective that you don’t always have to kneel when you pray. I don’t want us to limit others in prayer by what they see us do. In fact, there are very few indications that Jesus knelt when He prayed. I could only find one reference of that happening , but what I did find is noteworthy. Jesus prayed sitting, standing, kneeling, and face down. I think we should follow His example. This is next level prayer.
The Infamous Prayer-Circle
Don’t forget about the infamous prayer-circle. The prayer-circle may have done us the most harm when it comes to prayer. I have yet to find any reference where we should be praying in a circle or even touching. I said that on purpose. People who pray in a circle with others usually quote the scripture that says, “if any two or you on earth agree…”
“…That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” – King James Bible
By the way, we’ve made an error in quoting this as if it reads while touching, but only a couple translations even mentions “touching.”
Also, the original language, Greek, doesn’t mention touching at all. At any rate and back to the point, the prayer-circle can create a few challenges. What if you’re not comfortable holding the person’s hand next to you? What if the person before you is a strong pray-er and now you have to go behind that person who’s extremely gifted? The prayer-circle can be intimidating. I don’t believe God ever intended for prayer to be intimidating. I’ve not read where prayer is intimidating or should be made intimidating. In fact, we train people to fight for a turn to pray because everyone wants to get in on the conversation. This is next level prayer.
As I review all that we’ve shared above, I know it’s a bit much, not in the length, but in the content itself. We’re giving you all that we have when it comes to prayer. We’re not trying to leave any stone unturned. It’s our goal to share so much that one has never heard or have thought of before to leave one feeling as if they knew little to nothing about prayer. That’s how I feel. Every time I get a new idea and concept on prayer, I leave feeling why didn’t I know this after decades of church. This feeling means but one thing, you’ve gone to the next level.
Question: what other environments can you think of that are conducive for prayer have I not thought of?
 Mark 1:35 NLT, Bible.com, accessed August 9, 2022, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/MRK.1.35.NLT
 Psalms 19:14 NLT, Bible.com, accessed August 9, 2022, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/PSA.19.14.NLT
 Luke 6:12 NLT, Bible.com, accessed August 9, 2022, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/LUK.6.12.NLT
 Luke 5:16 NLT, Bible.com, accessed August 9, 2022, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/LUK.5.16.NLT
 Mark 6:46 NLT, Bible.com, accessed August 9, 2022, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/MRK.6.46.NLT
 Hebrews 4:16 NLT, Bible.com, accessed August 9, 2022, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/HEB.4.16.NLT
 Luke 22:39, 41 NLT, Bible.com, accessed August 9, 2022, https://www.bible.com/116/luk.22.39,41.nlt
All Scripture references used by permission, see our Scripture copyrights.