Does the mention of "the hour of prayer" in Acts 3:1 suggest that Christians are to pray at a specific time?:

Act 3:1  Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour.


  • Individuals are encouraged (by Jesus) to go into their closet and to shut the door and there to pray in secret. Corporately, groups of persons will need to decide among themselves what is convenient. The 'hour' when Peter and John went to the temple is not recorded so it obviously wasn't being put forward as a special time or we would have been told when it was.
    – Nigel J
    Commented May 26, 2018 at 23:44
  • 1
    The hour of prayer for Christians is given elsewhere: "without ceasing"! Commented May 27, 2018 at 4:23
  • I have always taken 'without ceasing' to mean that one prays for something, maybe today, then again tomorrow, and persists in the mention of it, not ceasing. If it meant 'pray 24 hours a day, 60 minutes every hour and 60 seconds every minute' I would find that impossible.
    – Nigel J
    Commented May 27, 2018 at 15:35
  • See canonical hours.
    – Lucian
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 11:44

1 Answer 1


Acts 3:1 refers to the hour of prayer in the Jewish temple which was set at the 9th hour (IE: 3pm). Because of this precedent many Christian groups set an hour of prayer:


However, the NT does not establish any such scheduled activities as a matter of "law" or required tradition.

  • The "ninth hour" is nine hours after sunrise. If the sun rises at 6 AM the ninth hour is 3 PM.
    – fdb
    Commented May 26, 2018 at 16:48

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