How much should you pray?

June 26, 2017 | 40 comments

“How much should I pray each day?” is a question I often hear. And it’s often followed by a discourse on how busy a person’s is, getting the family ready for school or work, running errands, making phone calls, paying bills, earning a living, pleasing the boss, cleaning the house, and on and on.

I often respond, “Make every activity of your day a prayer.”

Prayer is not a rite to be squeezed into a busy schedule. Prayer should permeate everything we do. Like breathing. Do you ever stop breathing because you’re doing something else? Nope. You keep on breathing because it keeps you going so you can do other things. The same rule applies to prayer. When prayer undergirds everything you do, events go much better. So, never stop praying!

Prayer takes many different forms. It is not a time allotment, a ritualistic routine, a set of repeated words, or a vacuum of human activity. It’s knowing God’s presence and expressing it.

Yes, it helps to sit the body down in a quiet location and get thought zeroed in on spiritual reality without distraction. But for most people, this isn’t going to happen 24 hours a day, let alone 12, 6 or maybe even 1. But that doesn’t mean prayer can’t be on-going during the day.

Prayer is listening for God’s direction and following it. Prayer is seeing the presence of God in one’s neighbor. Prayer is expressing wisdom, intelligence, creativity and alertness. Prayer is Love in action. Prayer is productive, profitable, worthwhile activity. Prayer accomplishes grand results, achieves noble goals and changes the environment around you for the better. Prayer is shutting down human will and letting God lead the way.

Prayer can be non-stop for us when we put God first in our lives and let His wisdom and love lead the way in everything we do.

Prayer is not something to do on occasion. Prayer is the happiest and healthiest way to live on every occasion.

40 thoughts on “How much should you pray?”

  1. Ah yes perfect! Thanks Evan. I realise now that I have been asking myself this question for a long time. There never seems to be enough time to set aside for prayerful thought, but Jesus had to pray on the run too didn’t he!? He didn’t make a hermit of himself or he wouldn’t have done all that he did.

    A practitioner told me she did her best praying while doing the ironing!

  2. Lovely thoughts on prayer, thank you. One question though – I’ve heard lecturers saying we need to ‘tune in’ to hear God speaking to us, but I’m never quite sure how to achieve this, even when I am devoting time to try to feel closer to God. Any thoughts, dear friends, would be appreciated, thank you.

    1. Thank you deeply, dear Evan for this so understandable, loving and inspiring thoughts on how one can pray to God effectively.

      To MB I would say, when I was in a situation, that I ment I could not discern Gods answers to my listening, I really talked to Him, asking God to give me an answer, so I could really know that it is His answer. Often it was an idea, what to do in that case or just, I knew what to do now, and with that I felt very good. You c a n know God i s close with you:-)

  3. Unceasing prayer is easy. It is everything we do or think. So think good thoughts and do good actions. Tomlinson suggested taking a pause about every hour to make sure your thought is kept oriented to perfect creation — perfect God and perfect man. I find this advice helpful to stay focused and it also keeps one from feeling overwhelmed by an intense activity and maintains perspective.

  4. “Prayer is Love in action!” It’s so helpful to think of this as the basis of each prayer/action, as well as with the other synonyms of God (S&H 465). Wonderfully clear as always, Evan, and my sincerest thanks for all your healing work for Church, blessing all.

  5. Thanks Evan. This is such a good reminder of our oneness with God. Please consider sharing as a Daily Lift or Sentinel article.

  6. The idea of unceasing prayer floored me for awhile at a period in my life when I was 24/7 busy with necessary activity. Then this idea of seeing everything I was doing and everyone I was with as the creation of our Father-Mother God, freed me from a sense of pressure that I had to to set aside time to pray when there was none available. I reasoned that time being a mortal concept it couldn’t be a lack in my human experience. God supplies every need, and prayer –aligning my thought with what is really true — has to be an on-going activity behind everything I do. It is separate from mortal beliefs and activities including the human concept of time.

  7. This puts prayer in such a simple but yet powerful perspective. Thank you! Often I think we think of prayer as something we have to ‘do’ rather than reflecting what already ‘is’. Truth is because God is, Love is because God is. God is our Life, Soul, Spirit, Mind, Principle. I love the accompanying photo which is so beautiful in reminding us to live prayer throughout the day into the night and what turns the darkness into the light. Have a great day/evening everyone

  8. From years ago:



    October 31, 1935

    A number of ministers were assembled for the discussion of difficult questions. Among others it was asked how the command to “Pray without Ceasing” could be complied with, and one of the number was appointed to write an essay to be read at the next meeting.
    This being overheard by a maidservant, she exclaimed, “What! A whole month waiting to tell the meaning of the text. It is one of the easiest and best in the Bible.”
    “Well, well,” said the old minister, “What can you say about it, Mary, how do you understand it? Can you pray all the time when you have so many things to do?”
    “Why, Yes, sir.” said Mary. “The more things I have to do, the more I cam pray.” “How?” asked the Minister.
    “Well,” said the girl, “When I open my eyes in the morning, I pray. ‘Lord open the eyes of my understanding;’ while I’m dressing, I pray that I may be clothed with righteousness; when I have washed me, I ask for the washing of regeneration, when I begin to work, I pray that I may have strength equal to my day; when I kindle the fire, I pray that God’s work may revive in my soul; as I begin to sweep out the house, I pray that my heart may be cleansed from all impurities; when I am preparing and partaking of the breakfast, I desire to be fed with the Manna and the sincere milk of the Word; as I am busy with the children I look to God as my Father, and pray for the spirit of adoption that I may be His child, and so on all day everything I do furnishes me with a thought of prayer.”
    “Enough,” said the old minister. “These things are revealed to babes and often hid from the wise and prudent. Go on, Mary, pray without ceasing.”

  9. I find comfort in these words from Science and Health: “The habitual struggle to be always good is unceasing prayer.” (page 4) I believe that’s part of tuning in – staying focused on God, good.

  10. Effective prayer in every thing we do should be the basis for effectiveness as it does set the tone for us to acknowledge how close we are protected in all our needs. I often seem to skip over our daily need.

  11. I love this Post and Comments!

    I kinda struggle with the feeling that I am not very good about “praying without ceasing,”
    but of course I really am and do! Every right and good action/attitude/thought is out of my innate alignment with God! How else would I even…exist?! We are all expressing Life, Truth, Love all the time…helplessly, eternally, for we ARE God’s ideas, His “image and likeness!”

    (Anything “else” is not really us, not real, not happening in Truth. No sense identifying ourselves with this stuff, or trying to live it. Impossible!)



    1. Wow! I love all these wonderful thoughts, especially the idea about not identifying with that “stuff” ’cause it doesn’t exist. That’s good! Thanks so much, Evan, for this subject and all that you share with us. Definitely daily treasures. And to everyone for the lovely sharings. I read this every day, but don’t comment. Maybe I should start. With love to all.

  12. Life is my prayer;
    Love, my Teacher;
    The Christ within
    Unfolds Truth
    To this seeker.

    With sight restored,
    I see All as One;
    Sermons in
    Babbling brooks,
    My hymn is done.

    When not in want,
    One has no needs;
    A truth only a
    Loving heart can see.

    How Love provides,
    How Love succeeds;
    Understanding Love
    Satisfies all needs.

    God created us
    So we could know
    A still small voice
    Will ALWAYS show
    Love is the key
    To unlock every door

    With Mother’s love
    And Father’s hand,
    Our faithful Christ:
    A Holy Land
    And our forever home.

  13. Thank you, Evan, so much for covering this question. The answer is always beautiful for all to know. It is prayer when we live His thought about each one of us.

    I once asked my wife: “Why are you always so very good?” Without hesitating, she replied, “I don’t know any other way to be.” Perfect answer! I then said to her. She had taught me a grand lesson. Yes, the importance is to live prayer each of the 24 hours, daily. Doing so, does not consume any time, but it does imprint the beautiful landscape of love we paint daily, throughout eternity.

  14. As in the Play, My Fair Lady:”

    “I think we got it!! I think we got it!!”

    And, we always have had it:
    Our recognition of true being, our forever Oneness with God as His expression!


  15. Hello everyone. What an excellent subject today. I loved Evan. Thanks for the contribution of all, and Esther what a beautiful article, I read it once a while ago and I liked it very much. We do not realize it, but we are praying incessantly, and if we believe that there is no man, let us remember Mary the maid in Esther’s article. Great week to all and Blessings

  16. Faith of erratum. Where it says man, I wanted to say time.
    Thank you
    Excuse my English, I’m Argentine and I use the google translate.

  17. By the number of comments, everyone agrees with me! This is one of the most meaningful messages I’ve had the privelege to read. A keeper! Thank you!

  18. A good and often needed reminder. I do find that if I do not take time to meditate quietly I crave it. My dear friend used to say, Take God breaks all day long. If we practice , then closing ones eyes and focusing on the breath for a few seconds, often breaks the spell and You are back.

  19. Thanks, Evan. Loved your article, too, Esther. Yes, everything we do we can do to the glory of God, and that’s praying unceasingly. My husband just began a new job and when I drive him to work we see the beauty around us—the mountains, the water, the lush landscape—and thank God for His creation. As I drive I’m thinking that Divine Principle, Love, is directing all the drivers so that there is harmony. I am so grateful for C.S. and how it shows us how we can pray without ceasing. It is our life which is a reflection of the only Life, God. Thank you, Father-Mother God!

  20. To Gustavo from the Argentine and Uta from Germany, I always am inspired by your comments and you have no need to apologize for your English. Please never hesitate to comment. Love is reflected in love and always understood when expressed sincerely.

    Thanks to everyone for your comments. We can all pray without ceasing.

    1. Thank you Lori, its so lovely you say that. As a German I love to talk and write in English; it was my hobby since my schoolyears, and later I worked with it on my job, writing English letters – I love English – and yes, I love Christian Science 😉

  21. Thank you Evan. And thank you Esther for that wonderful article in the 1935 Monitor. For years I felt guilty for always only being able to pray as Mary did; also turning to God for direction when I have been driving at night in an unfamiliar area (many times he guided me), when frustrated at not humanly being able to find important things turning to God who knows all and nothing is lost, etc.. So many gratitudes.

    Funny thing at work. My boss had dictated notes to review with State Department rep the next day. He said to keep it and he would ask for it when needed. The next morning I had been filing in numerous personnel files when he asked for that paper which had been right on top of my desk. I could not find it. He said to bring it in when I did find it. No success. I turned to God and acknowledged truths about the situation (with eyes closed and hands holding my head) when my boss again came out. He asked if I was alright. I said “yes” that I was just looking for the paper. He went back into his office. About 5 min. later it came to me to go to one particular file. There was the paper. When I took it in my boss said that later in the day he wanted me to tell him how I found the paper with my eyes closed.

    So grateful for Christian Science.

    1. Mary Ann, looking with God’s eyes, and finding the paper, to take in to your boss, delighted me. Plus it reminded me of the little girl whose father rushed home to see if she was alright physically, but when he arrived, she had been treated by her mother and a CS practitioner, so instructions to her father flew out of her mouth, when she said, “Dad, don’t believe what you’re seeing, it’s not really me.” or something to that effect, and her healing was complete. You drew a picture of finding the missing paper with your eyes, closed. Of course, closed to a false material picture. Delightful.

  22. I love to pray in the car. I’ll sing a favorite hymn. So many like the psalms are lovely prayers

  23. Mrs. Lori. Thank you for your words and understanding. It made me srntir very well, without doubt is an angel that has given me more confidence to participate. Thank you!!!!

  24. Lovely picture depicting that prayer is a continuous activity and should be embraced in daily life from morn to night…from sunrise till the moon comes up… Beautiful thought…
    There was a time when I would give the first place to God… say my prayers early morning for about half an hour… then throughout the day not even a thought about God…until one day a good friend corrected me…The thought of God should never leave you ever… I questioned “But how is that possible?” She explained…As you go about your daily duties, just keep offering the work you do as a devotion to God.. Secondly when you do the work for God the fruit of your labor comes from God, so no expectations attached to the job…whether boss praises or criticizes, doesn’t matter ..Thirdly since we seek God’s guidance and inspiration to do the job well, we experience abundant enthusiasm and happiness whilst doing the job…Work becomes interesting since God is in the picture all the time..Am grateful to my friend whose guidance was God sent…

  25. This was wonderful. One of my biggest aha moments was a talk on prayer when the speaker told us we can pray while stirring the soup… 🙂 That was thirty or so years ago and has stayed with me. Thanks Evan and all for your comments.

  26. I went in to make the bed and it came to me that this isn’t a mortal (to do) job. It is an opportunity to bear witness to God’s presence by witnessing order, joy and obedience. This just might be a type of unceasing prayer? Love you all and thank you for your willingness to share. Thank you also to Evan.

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