I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing. (1 Tim. 2:8)

SINCE 1775, on the first Thursday in May each year in the United States, Christian communities have observed the National Day of Prayer. At my first experience of the prayer event in Denver, Colorado, rain poured, forcing the gathering to be indoors. Hundreds of Christians crowded into a downtown church and raised their voices in petition to God. The awkwardness of speaking out my prayers surrounded by strangers soon melted away. God’s presence enveloped us in the damp, chilled building. As I left the event, I pondered prayer’s place in my everyday life.

In 1 Timothy 2, Paul encouraged prayers for all people, at all times, no matter the place. For the follower of Jesus, prayer must happen in every moment, not just one day a year. The longer we spend in prayer, the more clearly we see God’s viewpoint. He sees the world through redeeming eyes.

Prayer engages our hearts to the purpose of God, which is for “all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth” (v. 4) God gives no prerequisite for where we must pray. Paul said “everywhere.” Pray in large gatherings. Pray during chores. Pray at the workplace. Pray before sleep. Pray in quiet moments. Pray during chaos. Lift up hands to God. He is watching, waiting, and willing to respond.

Be ready to pray in every moment today.

Kathleen E. Dunlap lives in Denver, Colorado, with her husband and their dog, a Great Dane mix. She enjoys reading, crocheting, running, and journaling.