Today my wife was offered a new job at her company. A group of us prayed for her, as well as other prayer requests, around 10:30am. When we spoke later, one of the thoughts that went through my mind was, “I wonder what time it was when she found out? I wonder when the hiring managers decided that she would get the job?”
I mention this because I was reflecting on the common practice of praying at the same time of an anticipated event, interaction, or activity. For example, how when soliciting or giving prayer requests, it’s common to say, “I’m going to be meeting with so and so and hoping to share the gospel at this certain time, pray for us…” or “I’m going to be meeting with this person and it’s going to be a challenging conversation, could you pray for me at this certain time…” or “I’ve got a job interview at this certain time, can you pray for me?” While generally it’s inferred and even directly asked to pray beforehand for God’s blessing and guidance and empowering (among many other things depending on the situation), it’s also common to ask others to pray at that particular time that the particular event or interaction will occur. Why do we do that? Is praying at that time more holy or beneficial than before it happens? I’m not sure. But, I do think there are various reasons, ultimately that we are seeking God’s immediate empowering and help right at that time.
I’m guessing most Christians have heard stories of someone being in an interaction where they were sharing the gospel with someone, and a friend tells them they were praying for them at a certain time and come to find out, the Lord through His Spirit really encouraged the Christian at that time or supernaturally gave him words to speak that were perfect in that situation. And what a coincidence, the time the person prayed was approximately the same time that the breakthrough occurred. I don’t think that’s coincidence.
I tried to think of instances in Scripture that directly lead us to do this. The first (and at the moment, only) one that came to mind is found in John 4 when Jesus heals an official’s son when Jesus is with the official and the son is in a different location and it is found out that the son was healed at the same time that Jesus spoke with the official.
If you know of any other stories in Scripture, verses or passages that directly point us to praying at the same time something is occurring, I’d love to hear it. I find it interesting.
46So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. 47When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” 49The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.”The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. 51As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. 52So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household. 54 This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.”