“Pray without ceasing.”
Most people find it difficult to actually talk anymore. Each day I am inundated with communications from people around the world, but over 70% of this communication is non-verbal. Too often wed text rather than talk, email rather than engage, chat rather than converse, and post to Twitter or Instagram rather than participate in someone else’s life. These efforts to connect with each other actually make us more disconnected with the person.
It is possible that our spiritual communication with God is equally shallow.
Paul says simply, “pray without ceasing” in the midst of his letter to the Christians at Thessalonica. In this, the earliest canonical letter of Paul, the Apostle is reminding his readers that Jesus is coming again. Every chapter is this letter ends with a reference to the second coming of Jesus and with this in mind he writes, “pray without ceasing.”
Read the entire context of this verse.
“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (5:16-18)
Paul is simply identifying what should be the proper and essential attitude of all believers. Jesus is coming again! In light of this fact we are called to rejoice. No matter what the world says, Jesus IS coming again! We can, and should, have joy in our hearts at all times, but this is impossible without the power of God reigning in our hearts, minds, and life.
When our hearts are filled with JOY we will pray because we know that we are both insufficient and inefficient on our own. The New Testament word for prayer “encompasses all the aspects of prayer: submission, confession, petition, intercession, praise, and thanksgiving.”1
Prayer is simply communicating with God. We talk to Him and we and we listen to Him. We share our hearts with Him and we listen to Him through His word. This year as you are memorizing scripture I trust you will realize that you are constantly hearing from God, therefore, “Pray without ceasing.”