Pray without ceasing
1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NASB)
Recently, Anthony and I had a quick discussion about praying without ceasing, especially in relation to times of trial, but this applies to all times in life. There is never a time in our lives when consistent and continual prayer is not beneficial. Afterall, you would not take a sentry away from his post for extended periods of time, especially if there were precious jewels behind the door he is guarding, would you? Then why would you remove the first and most easily accessed line of defense from your own life?
Praying without ceasing can be defined in many ways, eliciting different responses from each person. For me, praying without ceasing is defined as praying as often as I need to, even if it means praying every two to three minutes. It means giving thanks for blessings as well as intercessing for others, asking forgiveness, and praying for supplication.
When I sat down this morning to brainstorm the benefits of praying without ceasing, I found the list to be long, and wrought with hope! For example, in considering my own sinfulness, I reflected on the importance of the timing and consistency of prayer in regards to sin. First I considered the implications of sin transforming from mere inward thought to an outward action, and then onto the logical sequence from a singular action all the way to an actual lifestyle wrought with sin, seemingly devoid of hope. Is there still a reason to pray without ceasing when all you’re living for is a series of sinful actions that lead to your own ruin, both outwardly and inwardly? The answer is a simple and emphatic yes! There is always hope, because there is always Jesus, and He died for the very sin you are considering right now. The one that tears at your soul, destroys relationships and makes you want to run and hide. God has already overcome that sin! You can stop and pray right now! In fact, you can pray for those who have already died, as a result of engaging in sinful activity, because God has not only overcome sin, but death as well! So there is no reason to ever resolve to give in to sin, or to death. There is always hope and you can be reminded and strengthened of this vital truth through prayer! Pray without ceasing, especially in regards to sin.
Next on my brainstorming list, were the emotional benefits of praying without ceasing. When you are sad, lonely, discouraged, or frightened, God is always near you and it is simple to reminded of this through prayer. I have often heard timely promptings of the Holy Spirit just when I am most depleted of positivity and energy. As a mom, I am tasked with the same or similar things each day and this can wear me down spiritually, emotionally and physically, when I am not pouring Truth into the situation. I do not like washing the same dishes every day, but it is necessary in order to eat a meal with my famiy. I do not like to correct certain behaviors each day. I want them to be gone the first time, but just as it can take a gardener years to finely prune a prosperous fruit tree, so it may take time to finely prune my daughters and myself of unwanted sin, and on the list goes. Prayer helps to fill me with hope, encouragement and Truth. What I am doing makes a difference, not only to myself, but to others as well.
What are some of the benefits you have found from praying without ceasing? How has it impacted your life and your ability to pour Truth into situations that aren’t so positive? Share in the comments! And come back next week for more on this subject!