Pray without ceasing
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
This is a verse I am sure most of us have seen and heard many times. But how often do we really sit down with it and think about what Paul is saying here. He is saying do these three things no matter what. Rejoice, pray, and give thanks in and through everything. Today I want to specifically look at “pray without ceasing.”
Paul (The writer of this letter) knew that in order for him to live out the life that Christ had called him to, he had to stay in constant connection with Jesus. When times were good, he prayed. When times were hard, he prayed. When he was tired, he prayed. When he was joyful, he prayed. He prayed whether he “felt” like it or not. And he encourages us to do the same.
Christ himself models this for us. Constantly throughout the Gospels Christ is leaving the crowds to go and get alone with God and guess what…pray! And he does it during the day, at night, in the middle of crowds, alone on mountains, in awe and reverence, and in lamentation. Even when he was in the middle of being tortured of the cross he still cried out to God.
I don’t know about you, but there are somedays when I don’t feel like praying, or spending time in God’s word. There is a part of our flesh that pushes against it. But I have to remind myself that it doesn’t matter how I feel about it in my flesh. What matters is that my soul longs to be with God and in communion with Christ and I choose to crucify that fleshly, rebellious desire to turn away from God and instead give all of myself completely to Him. Because I know that He is good and His will is best. It is because I know that He cares for me and desires to bring me life.
He desires to bring you life. But in order for Him to speak into your life you have to be in constant connection with Him. That is why Paul says “pray without ceasing.” Because prayer is our lifeline to our Lord and Savior. Without Him we are nothing, but through Him we become more than conquerors.
So my challenge to you this week is to pray without ceasing. This is not to say that you have to stay in a 24hr state with your eyes closed and head bowed, that is not what Paul is saying. What I am encouraging you to do is to communicate with God more than once a day. More than twice a day. Don’t put a number counter on the amount of prayers you can pray to God in a day. Seek His will and guidance in everything. Even when you don’t feel like it. In fact, pray especially when you don’t feel like it. Because your enemy is trying to pull you away from what gives you life. But instead of giving in and pulling away, push in and seek the life that Christ has waiting for you.
Written By Noah Barfield