Three mornings this week, I woke up with the song “Sweet Hour of Prayer” running through my mind.

A treasured memory that I have is that of my grandmother playing and singing the words of that old hymn–she could, also, beautifully whistle the tune.


I did not inherit that ability, but I can sing much of the song from memory. I’m sure Grandma would be happy  if she could hear me singing it.  ( Voice00251 )

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
That calls me from a world of care,
And bids me at my Father’s throne
Make all my wants and wishes known.

In seasons of distress and grief,
My soul has often found relief
And oft escaped the tempter’s snare
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
The joys I feel, the bliss I share,
Of those whose anxious spirits burn
With strong desires for thy return!

With such I hasten to the place
Where God my Savior shows His face,
And gladly take my station there,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
Thy wings shall my petition bear
To Him whose truth and faithfulness
Engage the waiting soul to bless.

And since He bids me seek His face,
Believe His Word and trust His grace,
I’ll cast on Him my every care,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer! 

Although at the end of my prayer time I’m, often, singing.  I don’t always find prayer to be sweet. I don’t always receive the answers that I want and expect. Sometimes prayer is difficult and hard work. Words that Scripture uses to describe prayer include wrestling, travailing, and weeping. For Jesus, it meant sweating blood.

What motivates me to pursue prayer when it’s painful and difficult? There are many rewards and incentives; for me, the most desired one is a new level of intimacy in my friendship with God!

If that is your desire, I want to encourage you to make “growing in prayer” a priority for 2017.

I believe that the Holy Spirit, my inner GPS, desires the same thing. That’s why  he’s calling me to higher level of intimacy with God. He desires that for all of us.  God does not show favoritism. He’s calling all of us to further develop our prayer life.

I’m making a commitment to do so. It’s not that I omit prayer but that I need more balance.

For years, I’ve been studying Scripture and prayer-journaling; it’s been a major factor in my  emotional healing and spiritual growth  Yet, there are other aspects of prayer I sometimes omit or am weak in.

To help me gain a balance in my prayer life, I’m doing two things: 1) Signing-up to take a Sunday school class that my friend and pastor’s wife, Crystal Holt, is teaching.

This new Bibles and Bagels class is based off Dick Eastman’s book: “The Hour that Changes the World.” Eastman has created a systematic process of effectively and purposely praying for one hour. In class we will study this prayer plan and apply it together. To sign up or learn more contact Crystal Holt Class starts Sunday, January 29 at 9:00 AM.

I’m excited about this opportunity and hope that those of you who go to New Hope Community Church will seriously consider joining this group study. If you are not in this area, I think you will be inspired by Crystal’s words; perhaps you will want to purchase the book and start your own prayer group. This is her introduction to the class:


2. On some days, I ‘m going to be joining my friend, Angela Thornton’s “90 Days of Intercession for the Church and Nation”. This challenge began on January 1, 2017, but it’s not too late to participate. Daily prayer is from 6:00-6:15 EST. The number to dial is 218.895.8546; Code: 2937679#.


You may find information about this challenge, as well as other resources on prayer and inspiring blog posts, on Angela’s Wise Word Ministries Facebook page. I hope that you will check out this great opportunity to join others in prayer.





10 Responses

  1. Thank you, Jane, for your heartfelt message. I vividly remember hearing the sounds of Sweet Hour of Prayer coming from the choir loft as a young girl in church. Any day you’re available, we’d love to have you join us during our 90-day journey.

  2. Dear Jane,
    I am absolutely blown away from what you said about prayer being work and for Jesus it resulted in sweating blood. Of course none of that information is new to me but the way you expressed it opened my mind big time to A New Perspective about prayer.

    Also so beautiful that you are introducing Angela to your tribe.

    God calls us to community and knowing all of you through these posts is so lifting.

    Your friend from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

    1. Dear Rosemary, thank you for letting me know this! I’m thrilled to be walking with you in this prayer journey.

  3. Thank you Jane for sharing your heart this morning! I’m so honored and excited to join with you in prayer this new year!

    1. Crystal, it’s always a delight to spend time with you; your passion for God inspires me, greatly. Thank you for offering this class.

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