Some have wondered: How do you spend a half-an-hour in prayer, not to mention two or three hours? Here is my three-fold answer:

  1. Resolve to do it. Don’t purpose to pray until you run dry. Purpose to pray the full half-hour. Prayer is work. It is not always a “sweet hour.” Jesus did many works with ease, but he prayed with “loud crying and tears” (Hebrews 5:7).
  2. Think about what you want to see change in your heart and life and family and neighborhood and church and world. Make a list if necessary. Then pray through it, giving God reasons from Scripture why this is something that he would surely do.
  3. Put the Bible in front of you and simply read a line and turn it into a prayer. Paraphrase it, expand on it, apply it to yourself and others. This works best with the ethical portions of Scripture like Matthew 5–7; Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 13; Galatians 5–6; Ephesians 4–6; Colossians 3–4; 1 Thessalonians 5; 1 John, etc. You can pray all day once you catch on. And you will be surprised how many insights come as you really take Scripture seriously and try to pray it into your life. If you run into theological or interpretational problems, tell the Lord you will work on that later and move on. If we seek hard to obey what we do understand, more light will come on the hard parts.

–John Piper