Pray without Ceasing

praying-hands-300x300There have been times when something weighs so heavy on my mind that it seems hard to escape. No matter what I’m doing, my thoughts return to it. It might be an unexpected medical diagnosis, an unresolved argument with my spouse, or financial struggles that continue to trouble us.

I try to remember 1 Thessalonians 5:17 which instructs us to “pray without ceasing”. I understand the Greek word used here gives the idea of persistence; like an irritating, hacking cough. I admit, when I’m in the midst of crisis, it is easy for me to come before God – constantly. But I must confess, my prayer life looks different when I’m not troubled by something. Rather typical, I guess, but I want to be obedient and get stronger in this area.

In Romans 1:9, Paul writes, “that without ceasing, I make mention of you in my prayers”; and again in 2 Timothy 1:3, “without ceasing, I remember you in my prayers day and night”. What does this look like for the average Christian living in the world today?

I recall an old song written by Burt Bacharach called, I Say a Little Prayer for You. In it, the love-struck woman says when she is praying for her man . . . the moment she wakes up, while combing her hair, when riding the bus, on her coffee break . . . all throughout the day, during all her activities.

May we have that same kind of commitment to pray for our families, our church family, our co-workers, and our communities. One thing that helps me is to have tangible items that spark a remembrance: I display a souvenir from Italy that reminds me to pray for our missionaries there (and everywhere); I have painted handprints that remind me to pray for my children and grandchildren; I have framed Bible verses to help me focus my thoughts and energies on things that are pleasing to God.

If this is an area you need to develop, what tools can you use to help you become more obedient and pray without ceasing?

~Pricilla

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