Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (vv. 16-18)
For many of us, learning to pray involved certain fixed times of prayer: before meals, before bedtime, and during church. The apostle Paul encourages something more in our prayer life: “pray without ceasing.” This biblical command draws us toward a lifetime of continual conversation with God. But how is this possible?
Does praying without end mean that we are to spend our waking hours with our eyes closed and hands folded? By no means! Paul encourages us to be in a continual, ongoing dialog with God our loving Father. Imagine reserving times of communication with our closest friends or family to only a few fleeting moments in a day. Or worse, suppose we limited those conversations to a set of memorized sentences that we simply repeat every day.
Our lives are meant to be a steady stream of conversation with our ever-present Lord. In times of fear, anxiety, or want, we must turn to the Lord as our comforter, helper, and provider. In times of gladness and joy, we should celebrate with him and share our thankfulness. When we’re angry and upset, we must seek his wisdom and guidance. “Do not be anxious about anything,” Paul says elsewhere, “but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” (Phil. 4:6) —Brad Haitsma
Prayer: Father, keep us closely connected to you in prayer at all times. Amen.