Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Pray Without Ceasing

By: Jenifer Metzger

Pray without ceasing.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV

Have you ever read the above Scripture and wondered how that could be possible? You're not alone. Let's look at this same verse in a couple other versions.

Pray Without Ceasing #prayer #pray #praying #prayerlife

Pray constantly.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 CSB

Never stop praying.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT

Pray constantly. Never stop praying. But how!? We're busy women. How are we supposed to pray without ceasing or stopping? How do we pray constantly when we have laundry, dishes, deadlines, carpool schedules, children to help with homework, meals to cook, the list goes on and on and on.

Paul isn't telling us to be on our knees, hands folded, eyes closed for twenty-four hours of a day. That isn't possible. God gave us these lives and He wants us to live them. He wants us to enjoy our families. He wants us to have conversations with others. He even wants us to enjoy the desires He has given us such as reading, painting, and the like.

So how can we possibly pray without ceasing? Here are a few ways:

Remain in an attitude of prayer. While you may not be on bended knee and begin with Dear Heavenly Father, you can still be in an attitude of prayer. When we remain in an attitude of prayer, we find it easier to whisper prayers throughout the day. And how do we remain in an attitude of prayer? Well, we can't be in an attitude of prayer when we are intentionally sinning, complaining, or gossiping. We can, however, remain in an attitude of prayer by listening to worship music, by avoiding sin, and by being quick to repent when we do sin.

Give thanks. Giving thanks throughout our day allows us to pray without ceasing. As you wake up in the morning, give thanks for a new day. As you are driving to work, say a prayer of thanks for your job and for your physical ability to do that job. As you wash dishes, give thanks that you had food to eat to dirty those dishes. As you lay your head down at night, give thanks for your day. We have so much we can thank God for throughout our day. We just have to be intentional with giving thanks.

Praise and worship. People often hear those three words -praise and worship- and think of the music they hear at church. However, praising and worshiping God isn't just about music. Throughout the day we can begin to tell God how good He is and how much we love Him. Just like we enjoy hearing our husband or children randomly say I love you, God enjoys hearing His children randomly say those three little words. We can also praise God by singing worship to Him. While you listen to Christian music, think of the lyrics and sing them as a prayer.

Lift needs as they arise. When you see or hear of a need, or you have your own need, go to God immediately. You don't have to wait until a certain time or to be in church, pray right where you are. I see multiple prayer requests on social media every single day, I am sure you do as well. And like me, you probably comment with, "Praying!" If we don't stop and pray right then, the chance of us remember to pray later is so slim. When a need arises, stop and pray right then and there.

Have intentional prayer time. While you most certainly can and should continue your prayers throughout the day -whispering thanks and praise to God, and lifting needs to Him- we still need to set aside prayer time each day. A time dedicated to have a conversation with God. It doesn't matter what time that is and it doesn't matter where you are. All that matters is you have intentional time of prayer.

Praying without ceasing doesn't have to be frightening or overwhelming. And it isn't a verse we should just skip over as we think of how impossible it sounds. Instead, be encouraged to know you can truly live a life of praying without ceasing, of praying constantly, and over never stopping your prayer.

1. Has 1 Thessalonians 5:17 felt intimidating to you in the past? After today's encouragement, do you feel less intimidated and more empowered to be able to pray without ceasing?
2. What are other ways you can think of to pray without ceasing?

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