Praying: Scheduled or Spontaneous?

Praying Scheduled or Spontaneous?

Should praying be scheduled or spontaneous?  That question probably doesn’t occur to many people. In fact, I’d wager that all the people who pray with any frequency, which is more than once a month, fall pretty equally into thirds:

So, should praying be scheduled or should it be spontaneous? I answer that question with two questions:

Need praying be one or the other?     Can’t praying be both?

Or more simple perhaps is this: Does it matter?

As I believe there are infinite ways to pray and all of them are right: some are right for some people, others are right for other people. And none of them is wrong.

It’s like that with scheduled praying and with spontaneous praying. I won’t take a stand in favor of either because I fall into that one-third that does both described above. My praying includes a cadre of prayers that are definitely scheduled (not just by time). I also follow the active tendency to pray at the drop of a hat. Or the wink of an eye. Or a whisper of the wind. Quite often I pray about those things, just because they let me want to.

Here’s my point. Whatever praying works for you, works for you. Keep at it.

I also offer this point. It may be a treat to try something different. Praying variety has a lot going for it. Freshness. Surprise. Discovery. Excitement. Release. Relief.

Scheduled Praying

Here are some of ways I apply schedule to my praying.

I tell you these praying practices just to make clear what I mean by scheduled praying, not to encourage you to take any of them on. They work for me. You already know what works for you. And if you’re looking for something new that will work, you’ll find it.

Spontaneous Praying

And for exactly the same reasons, I offer you these examples of my spontaneous praying. By the way, there’s a comment click at the bottom if you want to share your scheduled and/or spontaneous practices.

And for a great read on spontaneous praying: Edward Hays’ Pray All Ways.

Shall We Schedule Our Spontaneous Praying?

Good Friend God,
there is beauty and joy in being able to consider
whether we shall schedule our praying
or let it flow with spontaneous freedom.
We are grateful that we have the choice.
And our thanks, too, that we have freedom
to make a choice; we can choose
the grace of praying what we know and repeat
in certain ways at certain times
and of praying when the emotion or the idea
springs into our heart or pops into our head.

A prayer that we have said for years and know by heart
and the prayer that flows from our being in an instant
are so different and no different in their grace and beauty.

Thank you, Good Friend, that we may have praying both ways.

And so it is. And so we let it be with joy. Amen.

Love & blessings,



2 February 2021


Posted on February 2, 2021 at 7:45 am by Tim · Permalink
In: Prayer, Praying · Tagged with: , ,