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Reflections

How to Know When You’ve Prayed Long Enough

Have you ever wondered how to know when you’ve prayed for something long enough? I do this emotional dance where I feel burdened about something and I want to just keep talking to God about it. But I know that if I were God, I’d be getting tired of hearing it. I don’t want to nag God. Can you relate with me on this?

Granted, I’ve heard sermons about how God is our loving Father and He delights in us, and of course He wants to hear what is on our minds. And I’ve believed it, but still. My mind has always asked the question, “If God knows what I’m thinking, does He really want me to continue to verbalize it? Shouldn’t I just say it once and trust Him with it?”

Lets be honest – I relate to God out of my experience. I do not appreciate when my children ask for something over and over and over again. My thought is always “I heard you the first time and I’m thinking about it. I will be much more likely to form an answer if you be quiet and let me think.” So, my instinct with God is to bite my tongue and let Him work.

This has been something I’ve dealt with for many, many years. You can imagine my relief when God finally spoke to me about it. He said,

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:6, 7

Did you catch that? He wants me – you – us to pray about everything. Let Him know all our requests. And His incomprehensible peace, will guard, surround, protect our hearts and minds. Friends, this is how to know when we’ve prayed about something long enough – Jesus will give us peace.

When we feel anxious and like we need to keep talking to God, our Father, about whatever it is, He wants us to do it. He wants us to talk until our anxiety gives way to peace.

The words "Pray until the peace presses in!" against a sunset sky.
Peace lets you know you’ve prayed long enough!

If you’re not there yet, friend, keep talking. Keep praying. The peace will come. And that is how you will know you’ve prayed long enough.