The first Thursday in May has been designated as the National Day of Prayer. While millions are asked to unite in prayer on that one day, Christians are admonished to pray continuously…to pray without ceasing. (1 Thess. 5:17) What exactly does that mean and how do you do it? To me, praying without ceasing is an attitude we adopt as part of our Christian life style.
To pray without ceasing is …
Purposeful. We come to hear from God. Our motivation to pray may vary—upon reading His Word, facing a problem or in anticipation of a particular event. While prayer is initiated by believers, we must also be “eager listeners” as God responds to our petitions and supplications. He desires to act on our behalf. (2 Chron. 16:9)
Relational. We spend time with God. It is here that we begin to understand His nature—His ways and His works. He is Abba Father, so we approach Him as the
loving nurturer and protector of our soul and life. In prayer we can be “totally transparent” showing Him all our faults and flaws. He knows our heart. (Ps. 103:13-14)
Dynamic. We can come to God in the morning, throughout the day, or at the close of the day. Our prayers should never be “repetitive babblings” but genuine expressions of our needs and concerns. We often do not know how to pray about a particular situation or for a person. We can depend on the Holy Spirit to guide our petitions. (Rom.8:26-27)
Inclusive. We are sensitive to the Holy Spirit as He identifies the needs of those around us. Prayer is not just about us. God will send people through divine appointments who need our prayers. We are to pray for those God “puts on our hearts”—our leaders, our nation, even our enemies. We are to pray for all saints. (Eph. 6:18)
As we pray without ceasing, let us take a KISS approach—Keep It Simple Susan. Let us come to Him with a contrite and humble heart, ready to hear and obey. Never stop praying.