March 26, 2020 by Pat Otwell
Although you probably have a designated time set aside to go to the Lord in prayer, the Holy Spirit may direct you to pray throughout the day and night for people or situations that He brings to your mind. Since God never slumbers nor sleeps, these spur-of-the-moment prayers can be offered anytime. Eight examples of countless times you can pray spontaneously include when you read Scripture, hear a siren, see a funeral processional, view social media, hear news reports, go on a prayer walk, listen to Christian music, and remember the lost.
Read Scripture: Certain Bible verses may prompt you to confess your sins, ask forgiveness, praise God for His blessings, intercede for others, or make a request. Sometimes you might want to pray Scripture, which is basically saying God’s words back to Him. Doing so provides an opportunity for you to reinforce verses you have memorized. Prayer and the Bible go hand in hand. Praying may cause you to read or quote Scripture, and reading Scripture can cause you to pray!
Hear A Siren: Let the sound of sirens from ambulances, fire trucks, and other emergency vehicles serve as a trigger for you to breathe a prayer for the workers and victims involved. Ask God to give responders the wisdom they need to help the individuals and pray that He will meet the concerns of the injured. Likely you will not know these people or the extent of their injuries, but God does. Call upon Him to meet those needs as only He can.
See a Funeral Processional: Grieving family members and friends need the peace that passes all human understanding. Losing a loved one through death can serve as the catalyst that God uses to draw a sinner to the Savior. Allow a funeral processional to cause you to utter a prayer for salvation if there are unsaved loved ones within the family, and that Christians will experience the comfort that only the Holy Spirit can give during such a difficult time.
View Social Media: Frequently, family members or friends post names and needs of loved ones as prayer requests on Facebook or other social media sites. As you read these, pause to pray. Social media can be an effective way to share requests more quickly and, perhaps, with more people than can be done through church emails or bulletins. An additional benefit of social media is that these concerns can cover a greater geographical area than normally could be reached through local churches.
Hear News Reports: Voice a prayer for those who have experienced tragedies as you would want them to pray for you if you were the person in need. Fortunately, though, all news is not bad news! Many folks have inspiring stories of overcoming setbacks that serve as an encouragement to others. Rejoice with them through prayer as they rejoice over blessings God has sent their way.
Go On A Prayer Walk: As you walk past houses or businesses in your neighborhood, pray for the people who live in the houses or work in the buildings. Some of these people may be experiencing financial difficulties, dealing with depression, coping with broken relationships, facing important decisions, suffering from illnesses, seeking recovery from addictions, etc. Again, you may not know the people or their needs, but God does, and He has power to answer your prayers. If you pass a church, the Holy Spirit may nudge you to pray that the pastor will preach God’s Word and that his hearers will respond positively to the gospel.
Listen to Christian Music: God empowers some Christian musicians to compose lyrics that speak to the hearts of individuals. Pray that composers will be yielded to God and speak His truth through the music they write. Also, pray that listeners will respond to the message as God desires.
Remember the Lost: The Holy Spirit may bring to your mind a family member or friend who has never trusted in Christ as their Lord and Savior. God doesn’t want anyone to die without having a saving relationship through faith in His Son Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to bridge the gap between Holy God and sinful mankind. Lift that person in prayer to God. Also, ask Him to provide opportunities for you to share your faith in Christ with others.
David, the psalmist of old, declared: “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice” (Ps. 55:17, KJV). All people and situations stand in need of prayer. So, sensitively listen to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit and look for opportunities the Lord sends your way to pray spontaneously!
Dr. Pat Otwell served for many years as a chaplain at various adult care centers in Paris, Texas. She is a retired Clinical Member of the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education and a Life Retired Associate Certified Chaplain. Pat now resides in Cumming, Georgia, and enjoys a writing ministry.