Pray Without Ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

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Submitted by Andy McIlvain.

1 Thessalonians 5:17

Prayer is difficult, even for the most disciplined. Life in our broken world is not sympathetic or understanding of prayer. The powers and principalities that surround us deem it irrelevant, and the Spiritual Forces that seek to discourage us also work to diminish its use and effectiveness.

And you and I are weak. We must be reminded and, in some cases, prompted into daily prayer. Prayer requires discipline and work on our part. We must be intentional and deliberate. Few things in our Christian life decay as fast as our desire to pray. Prayer is vital to our Christian life. Life is hard and there are many distractions. We give in easily to other things, like spending hours watching TV or some other activity and yet insist we have no time to pray.

Learn to pray every morning in private, study the word, pray with your spouse, family and friends at every opportunity. Do not be fearful or embarrassed to pray in public or for a group.

God’s grace is ever present in our lives and for the most part goes unnoticed. Yet there are “the means of grace”, ways by which we can directly access the dimension of God. The Apostle Peter, in 1 Peter 5:10, describes the grace of Christlikeness in our lives.

How is prayer not ritual but a relationship? Christ is a physical Human being in the heavenly dimension. His presence there means he listens to the same prayers that God the Father and the person of the Holy Spirit listens to. Christ, being also human and knowing firsthand our experiences, intercedes for us regarding our circumstances and requests. The Triune God is engaged and active in the world and directly in our lives throughout our day and night.

John Calvin says, “Since our weakness is such that it has to be supported by many aids, and our sluggishness such that it needs to be goaded, it is fitting each one of us should set apart certain hours for this exercise.”

Once is not enough. To pray unceasingly means you must stop and meditate (think) and pray, not a recitation but an honest and humble praise to God. Prayer must be a fundamental and essential part of your day. We should strive to begin and end our day in prayer.

How with the hectic, distracted lives most of us live can we do this? Pastor Timothy Keller in his article “Beyond the Daily devotional” provides prayers you can use or adapt to your daily prayer life.

You and I must make Prayer an essential part of our life; it is oxygen to our souls. We wither and die without it.

“Beyond the daily devotional” by Timothy Keller

 

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