The Bible has answered the following questions so far:
Who do we pray to? And Who do we pray for?
What do we pray? And what should we pray for?
The next question is, where? Where should we pray? God’s Word isn’t silent on this subject. The verses below are taken from the NLT and NKJV and are in no particular order. My comments are in [brackets] below.
1 Timothy 2:8
In every place of worship, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy.
[Where? In places of worship. It seems like an obvious answer but how many people just go along with group prayer, not really taking it to heart? How many people will just bow their heads and be so distracted thinking of their “to-do” list when others are voicing the prayer, rather than repeating the words in their own minds and adding their own to it? We are to pray in places of worship.]
Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.
[Many verses show Jesus going off by himself to pray. Our relationship with our Creator, our Father, is a personal one. Not every conversation is meant to be public, in fact, most are probably meant to be in confidence. If your prayer-life is mainly a public one, it needs work.]
After telling everyone goodbye, he went up into the hills by himself to pray.
[Again, Jesus goes off by himself to pray. We can follow his example to the letter and go outside in solitude to pray, or we can follow his example in spirit and find any private spot to pray. Just make sure where you choose is quiet and private so you can pray in truth.]
One day soon afterward, Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night.
[Again, Jesus goes off by himself to pray. I can only pray that God will gift me with the focus necessary to sit in His presence waiting quietly for answers during hard times. Jesus spent a night in prayer with the Father as he was choosing his 12 apostles. God is there for us as well, to help us and guide us in making huge decisions.]
When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get.
But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
[Jesus teaches us how to pray. Is it wrong to have group prayers in church? No, that isn’t what He says. There is nothing more beautiful than to have unity and one voice, one purpose, one heartfelt prayer by many offered to God. It’s all about the motives here. Is the person praying loud and clear in public doing so for the right reason? Or are they praying loudly and publicly for their own glory and attention? We might not always be able to tell but God knows the difference.]
But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.
Pray in the spirit at all times and on every occasion…
[Where do we pray? In the spirit… Sometimes you just can’t physically get away but that doesn’t mean you can’t mentally step away. There’s a connection with God that doesn’t ever go away. It’s in the back of your mind playing soft music and whispering to you and you can only hear when you go looking for it. Go looking for it more often and pray continually in the spirit.]
Jesus’ example was to go off by himself outside to pray. There is nothing quite like hearing the animals and birds and feeling the breeze, looking up into a vast sky. It’s very simple to acknowledge God in that setting. The earth truly does proclaim that there is a God. Jesus prayed by himself,j and while walking down the road, while healing others, in groups, in places of worship as well. The examples are too numerous to list here.
Where should we pray?
Everywhere. As long as your focus is properly placed, with God, pray everywhere. Pray silently, out loud, moving your lips and whispering, or let the Spirit pray for you when you have no words. Don’t let a place or lack of a place prevent you from praying.