There’s a popular saying amongst church folk that tells us that we should pray without ceasing. This strong advice is based upon the scripture from 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (King James Version), which in its entirety states, “Pray without ceasing.” But, what does that mean exactly? How is it possible to do such a thing? A person cannot simply walk around praying all of the time. We have to work. We have to cook and clean. We have to tend to the children. We have to exercise, eat, bathe, talk to other people, and so on. Are we simply to give up on doing anything and everything, except for praying? Of course not.
Develop A Prayer Motto
A prayer motto, or two or three or ten, is something that you say quickly, as needed, to The Lord. Prayer can be as long or short as you need it to be. At bedtime, or first thing in the morning, or during troubled times, we might find ourselves in long communion with The Lord. However, as we go about our daily lives, sometimes we just need a quick word with Him. Therefore, we can say simple prayers (mottos) according to our situations. If we feel overwhelmed we could say, “Lord, help me.” When we become afraid of people or situations we could say, “Lord, keep me.” And if we feel lost or uncertain we could say, “Lord, lead me.” You could certainly say more if you feel the urge or need to. Keep in mind that length is not what matters most to God, sincerity is. He truly does know your heart.
Develop A Prayer Habit
Why should we develop a prayer habit? Shouldn’t prayer be planned with time set aside specifically for conversation with God. Yes, we do plan some prayer times such as at bed time and when we wake up. That is precisely the point. Those prayer times are habits. But, don’t stop there. Make it a habit to pray as life unfolds, unplanned and unrestricted. Prayer is not just for in your bedroom or during church service. You can pray at your children’s extracurricular activities, at your work station, in the bathroom, in your vehicle, on your porch, etc. As a matter of fact, we should make it a habit to pray before and during everything we do. We should pray whether things are going well (out of gratitude) or falling apart, whether we’ve been done wrong or have done someone else wrong. Habits take time to form, but the good ones are always worth the effort.
Develop A Relationship
When we meet new people, we talk with them to find out more about them. The more we talk, the better we get to know who we”re dealing with. If we like them, we keep talking to them and developing a relationship with them. Our prayers to God are simply our conversations with Him. Prayers don’t have to be long, drawn out, confusing medleys of things we have heard our whole lives but never fully understood what they meant. If your prayers don’t make sense to you, then they are useless to The Lord. He wants genuine and real pleadings and thanksgiving, straight from your heart, not your brain or memory. If we don’t like for people to be fake with us and use big words no one understands, why would we insult God or waste His time doing the same thing? A lasting relationship is one that is built upon loyalty, honesty and trust. The deeper our relationship with Him gets, the more we realize that He is all of that and so much more.
It Is Possible
It is possible to pray without ceasing. If we learn to include God in all of the parts of our lives that many people have excluded Him from, we will experience much more abundant living than money can offer. We will see more value in things that we’ve come to take for granted. We will want to be closer to God every day. We will want to live a life that is pleasing to Him. We will want to serve Him by serving others more than ourselves. We will be more and more obedient to The Word by learning more and more of what It says and what He expects from us. We will pray more and learn to listen more when He answers. He answers in many ways and you will know when it is Him. The book of John 10:27 (KJV) says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” He is always there. He always cares. He is always listening. Do you pray without ceasing? You can do it. It is possible.
I didn’t always have a strong prayer life. Up until a certain point in life, I didn’t think it was that important. But, learning to depend on a power greater than my own has been truly humbling, yet mind blowing. I have not always gotten the answer that I wanted, but I always got an answer. Sometimes there seems to be no response at all. That in and of itself is also an answer. Growing in prayer is a process. It is a process that a person has to learn to trust. Over time, I have learned to do just that and it has paid off more than my weight in gold in just peace and strength. I urge you to try and trust the process. Pray without ceasing.
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**All scripture references are from The Holy Bible, King James Version.