What Does It Mean To Tarry In Prayer

What Does It Mean To Tarry In Prayer

Going into the essence of prayer unveils a spectrum of practices, each carrying its unique significance. Yet, amidst these, lies a particularly profound concept—what does it mean to Tarry in Prayer? This isn’t merely a fleeting conversation with the divine, but a deliberate, prolonged communion. Tarrying in prayer is an invitation to linger, to abide in the presence of the sacred, and to traverse the realms of spirituality with depth and intentionality.


The journey of tarrying in prayer is one of resonance—a journey where time seems to transcend its boundaries, where words are more than spoken; they echo in the silence of contemplation. It’s in this space that individuals seek solace, wisdom, guidance, and a profound sense of connection with the divine.

Tarrying in prayer isn’t confined to a specific faith or ritual; it’s a universal concept that transcends religious boundaries, offering a path for seekers to immerse themselves in the spiritual, to linger in the depths of their soul, and to seek answers beyond the tangible.


What Does It Mean To Tarry In Prayer

Prayer is a fundamental aspect of many religious traditions, allowing individuals to communicate with a higher power and seek divine guidance, comfort, and intervention.

While prayer has various forms and practices, one concept that holds significant importance is the idea of “tarrying in prayer.” In this article, we will explore the meaning, purpose, biblical basis, and practical aspects of tarrying in prayer.

Definition of Tarrying in Prayer

Tarrying in prayer refers to the act of spending extended periods in focused and persistent prayer. It goes beyond routine or habitual prayers and involves dedicating specific and intentional time to commune with God, seeking His presence, guidance, and answers to specific needs or concerns. Tarrying in prayer entails a deep desire to connect intimately with the divine and experience spiritual breakthroughs.


The Purpose and Benefits of Tarrying in Prayer

Tarrying in prayer serves several purposes and offers numerous benefits to individuals and communities of faith. Firstly, it allows believers to enter into a deeper level of intimacy with God, fostering a closer relationship and a heightened awareness of His presence. Through tarrying in prayer, one can experience spiritual renewal, a deepening of faith, and a strengthening of their spiritual connection.

Additionally, tarrying in prayer provides a space for individuals to pour out their hearts, express their deepest concerns, and seek God’s guidance, wisdom, and provision. It is a means to surrender personal desires and align oneself with God’s will. Tarrying in prayer also cultivates patience and perseverance as individuals learn to wait on God’s timing and trust in His faithfulness.

The Biblical Basis of Tarrying in Prayer

The practice of tarrying in prayer finds its roots in the Bible. Throughout Scripture, we find examples of individuals and communities who sought God diligently through extended times of prayer. One notable example is Jesus Himself, who often withdrew to solitary places to pray and spend uninterrupted time with His Heavenly Father.


In the book of Acts, we see the early church engaging in tarrying prayer as they waited for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. They devoted themselves to prayer, unity, and expectancy, leading to a powerful manifestation of God’s presence and the birth of the early Christian community.

How to Tarry in Prayer

While the specific practices of tarrying in prayer may vary among different individuals and religious traditions, some common elements can help guide and enhance the experience. Here are some key principles to consider:

Setting Aside Dedicated Time for Prayer

Tarrying in prayer requires intentional commitment. Set aside specific blocks of time in your schedule where you can focus solely on prayer without distractions. It could be early mornings, evenings, or designated days dedicated to extended prayer.

Creating a Prayerful Environment

Find a quiet and comfortable space where you can pray without interruptions. Eliminate distractions, such as electronic devices, and create an atmosphere that promotes concentration and spiritual attunement.

Engaging in Deep, Intimate Communication with God

Tarrying in prayer involves more than reciting predefined prayers. It’s about engaging in authentic, heartfelt conversations with God. Share your joys, sorrows, hopes, and fears with Him, and listen for His response through Scripture, impressions, or a still small voice.

Practicing Perseverance and Patience

Tarrying in prayer requires perseverance and patience. It may take time for answers to manifest, and there may be moments of spiritual dryness or discouragement. Stay committed, trusting that God is working behind the scenes, and continue seeking His presence and guidance.

Overcoming Distractions and Spiritual Warfare

During times of focused prayer, distractions and spiritual warfare may arise. Stay vigilant and learn to redirect your thoughts and attention back to God. Use scripture, worship music, or meditation to guard your mind and spirit.

Examples of Tarrying in Prayer in the Bible

The Bible provides us with examples of individuals who practised tarrying in prayer and experienced powerful encounters with God. One such example is found in the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus, facing His impending crucifixion, spent an extended time in prayer, seeking strength and surrendering to God’s will.

Another example is the prophet Elijah, who fervently prayed for rain during a drought. He persisted in prayer, sending his servant seven times to look for signs of rain until a cloud appeared, indicating the end of the drought. These biblical examples demonstrate the transformative power and effectiveness of tarrying in prayer.

The Transformative Power of Tarrying in Prayer

Tarrying in prayer has the potential to bring about transformative changes in individuals and communities. It allows for a deepening of faith, an increased sensitivity to God’s leading, and a greater alignment with His purposes. Through tarrying in prayer, individuals can experience breakthroughs, spiritual healing, and a renewed sense of purpose and direction in their lives.

Moreover, tarrying in prayer fosters unity among believers as they come together in dedicated times of seeking God’s face and interceding for one another and the world. It cultivates a sense of dependence on God and a recognition of His sovereignty, leading to greater humility and a desire to live per His will.


As we conclude this exploration into what it means to tarry in prayer, it becomes evident that this practice is far more than a mere act of supplication. It’s an immersion into the transcendent, an invitation to dwell in the sacred, and an embrace of the ineffable. In the journey of tarrying, individuals discover a sanctuary within themselves—a space where doubts dissipate, where purpose unfolds, and where the connection with the divine becomes palpable.

It’s a practice that transcends the limitations of time, offering a glimpse into the eternal and fostering a profound sense of spiritual nourishment. May the essence of tarrying in prayer continue to guide and illuminate the paths of seekers, bringing solace in moments of uncertainty, wisdom in times of confusion, and a deep-seated connection to the divine in every breath, whisper, and silence of prayerful tarrying.


 How long should I tarry in prayer?

The duration of tarrying in prayer can vary depending on individual circumstances and spiritual leading. It could be minutes, hours, or even days. The key is to set aside dedicated time to seek God without rushing or imposing time limits.

 Can tarrying in prayer be done in a group?

Absolutely! Tarrying in prayer can be done individually or in a group. Gathering with others who share the same spiritual goals can enhance the experience and create a supportive and encouraging environment for extended prayer.

Is tarrying in prayer only for specific requests or concerns?

No, tarrying in prayer is not limited to specific requests or concerns. While it is often practised when seeking answers or breakthroughs in specific areas of life, it is also a means to deepen one’s spiritual connection and seek God’s presence, guidance, and transformation in all aspects of life.

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