Matt 26:44 And leaving them, He went away again and prayed a
third time, saying the same word again.
2Cor 12:8 Concerning this I entreated the Lord three times
that it might depart from me.
A key to prayer is to pray “three times” to the Lord. “Three” does not refer literally to the number three; it merely signifies multiplicity. The Lord Jesus prayed to God three times in Gethsemane, and when God answered His prayer, He stopped praying. Paul also prayed three times to the Lord, and when he received an answer from the Lord, he stopped praying. Hence, all prayers have to take care of the principle of praying three times. This does not mean that we should pray once, twice, and three times and then stop. It means that we have to pray until we are through and until God has answered us.
Not only must we pay attention to the principle of praying
three times in our personal prayer, but we must also take
care of the same principle in the prayer meeting. If we
expect our prayer to fulfill the ministry of church prayer
and accomplish what God wants us to accomplish, we must keep this principle in mind.
The principle of praying three times means that we have to
pray in a thorough way. We have to pray until we get through, until we are clear about God’s will, and until we receive an answer from the Lord. In the prayer meeting we must never think that just because a matter has been brought up and a brother has prayed about it we do not need to pray about it more. Suppose a sister is sick, and we pray for her. After one brother has prayed, it does not mean that I do not have to pray more. No, after that brother has prayed, I can still pray, and another person can still pray. This does not mean that every matter must be covered by three prayers. It means that whoever has the burden should pray. Sometimes we need to pray five or ten times. The important thing is to pray until the burden is released. This is the principle of praying three times. This is the key to success in our prayer meeting.