“praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,” Ephesians 6:18
Throughout the day, I pray. I pray when I’m impatient, or I pray to stay patient. I pray when I am tempted, and I pray to keep from temptation. I pray when I’m angry, and I pray for peace. I pray when I’m remorseful and repenting, and I pray when I’ve kept my eyes fixed on Jesus. I pray when I am going to speak to someone, and I pray when I’m by myself. I’m not perfect, and I don’t do it always, but every day, I seek to pray constantly. Why? First and foremost, the Bible says to! But more important than that, when I pray constantly, I feel most connected with God, even if I don’t “feel” His presence close by (though that happens, too!).
Many pray while they’re in trouble, or pray when they’re going to make decisions (or, foolishly, while they’re already doing what they’re asking permission for), or pray when they really need to. This isn’t what prayer is for! O. Hallesby, a writer from antiquity, wrote that “Prayer is the breath of the soul.” If this is the case, and by reading God’s word, I tend to believe this is true, I want to breath deeply! We don’t forget how to breath, and then gasp when we need air, we breath so naturally, many of us forget it's a constant, perpetual process! I desire that my prayer life is the same way: that I pray so constantly and consistently that it is so natural that I am constantly doing it without thinking about it! Prayer keeps us focused on God, a God who is our loving “Abba” (an affectionate term still used in the middle east of a child to his or her beloved father), who hears us, and listens to us, and desires to be with us. He has placed His Holy Spirit within us, that we may be with Him always, so I always want to stay connected to Him! My eyes and mind and heart stay fixed on Him as I continue to pray, and so, not by way of request (although I do ask for things, at times), I desire to stay fixated on Him at all times. I will pray without ceasing, and I pray you’ll do the same!
1 Thessalonians 5:12-22
We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.