“Pray without ceasing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17
We have been unpacking our theme verse for the year, and on this first day of a new week, I want to talk about this second command of the Apostle Paul to “pray without ceasing.”
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Prayer is one of those disciplines that we take for granted too often. We minimize its power, we make it the last-ditch effort when facing issues, and quite frankly, I believe we sometimes just plain forget about it if we are really honest.
We tell people, “I’ll pray for you,” but do we really do it? We use this phrase too often as part of our “Christianeeze.”
When Paul gives this admonition, he is not asking us to do something he himself has not practiced. He often starts out one of his letters telling his receivers that “we have not ceased to give thanks” or “we constantly are praying for you.”
Paul is not suggesting that we should be a bunch of monks and praying 24 hours a day. Pastor Warren Wiersbe writes: “’Praying with ceasing’ does not mean we must always be mumbling prayers. The word means ‘constantly recurring,’ not continuously occurring. We are to ‘keep the receiver off the hook’ and be in touch with God so that our praying is part of a long conversation that is not broken. God knows the desires of the heart (Psalm 37:4), and He responds to those desires even when our voice is silent.”
This type of persistent, on-going prayer is a reminder that God never hangs up on us. He constantly keeps the line of communication open. In fact, think about this – we could be in a room with 10,000 people all praying out loud at the same time, and our big, omnipotent God hears every prayer and individually focuses on YOUR prayers giving His full attention with BOTH ears.
My take away is that God delights it when we continue the conversation with him throughout the day. I need to learn to pray about EVERYTHING – not just the big things – but even the small things that you might not feel are not important in the big scheme of things.
Last week the power went out at 5:55 AM. We had a full house of guests at America’s Keswick. I have to confess that I totally blew it. I want to tell you that at that moment, I rejoiced, prayed, and gave thanks!
Unfortunately that wasn’t my first line of defense, but it should have been. I drove out our entrance way to see if everyone else’s’ power was off. It was at that moment the Holy Spirit tapped me and I sensed Him saying, “Really? How about asking me to take care of this problem?” I quickly repented of my sin and rejoiced, prayed, and gave thanks. I called my wife and she told me the power was back on.
My desire is to get to that place where I will pray about EVERYTHING first rather then get in a jam, or when things are messed up. He’s there. He’s listening. He’s waiting for you and me to cry out to Him.
Lord, help me today to pray without ceasing – to remember that you are there waiting for me to call on You. Amen.
Rejoice! Pray! Give thanks!
Bill Welte, D.D.
President & CEO of America’s Keswick
Written by Dr. Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: Bill has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 11 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.
Think About This: Prayer is the means by which you will be freed from your earth-bound, time-bound thinking to participate in eternity. True prayer releases His power so that His power can accomplish immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine.
–Jennifer Kennedy Dean
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, and said, “O Lord, great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and mercy with those who love Him, and with those who keep His commandments, Daniel 9:4