Why Spontaneous Prayer and Planned Prayer Are Both Important

Dependent Every Moment

First, there is spontaneous prayer. Spontaneous prayer is when you’re with somebody and something happens or they tell you about something and you say, "Can we pray about that together right now?" Then, there is planned prayer. Planned prayer is when you have a weekly Bible study and you regularly pray with those women or with the people in that group. Or again, we pray every Sunday in church. That’s planned prayer. We need both of those kinds of prayer.

We need spontaneous prayer because we are dependent every moment on the Lord, and we are together dependent on him. Praying about something right in the moment reminds us of that very dependence.

We also need planned prayer. Sometimes we forget that we need to pray. We forget that we’re dependent on the Lord. Knowing that every Wednesday we’re going to pray together reminds us that we indeed need the Lord every week, even if there’s no looming crisis. So both spontaneous and planned prayer are helpful.

Praying Together

Megan Hill

Exploring the Bible’s teaching on the importance of corporate prayer, Praying Together lays a theological foundation and offers practical advice related to praying alongside other believers—in our families, churches, and communities.

In A Treatise on Prayer, Edward Bickersteth advises, "Watch for favorable opportunities of prayer." In other words, keep your eyes out and look for a chance to pray. We look at the church schedule or at the community schedule or at our Bible study schedule and we think, "Where can we have a chance to pray together?" And then, as we go into our day, we ask the Lord, "Show me somebody that I can pray with. Give me an opportunity to pray with somebody." And we keep our eyes open for those opportunities. We’ll be surprised at what the Lord brings into our life.

Related Resources

Crossway is a not-for-profit Christian ministry that exists solely for the purpose of proclaiming the gospel through publishing gospel-centered, Bible-centered content. Learn more or donate today at crossway.org/about.