What Does It Mean To Pray Without Ceasing?
What does it mean to pray without ceasing? “Pray without ceasing,” comes from 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.”
There are probably more hectic days than not when you may find it hard to even pray, let alone pray without ceasing! This phrase has always jumped out at me. I wanted to share what this phrase means to me and hope that you will ponder and create your own meaning, too.
To Pray Without Ceasing Means First to Define Your Own Meaning of Prayer.
Prayer for me used to solely be finding a quiet place, then bowing my head, closing my eyes, addressing God with a Dear Heavenly Father, followed by a laundry list of requests, then wrapping it all up with an amen.
There is nothing wrong with this type of prayer. The Apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not worry 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.”
My Life Changing Understanding of Prayer
I’ve mentioned in prior writings of my pastor giving a sermon on prayer. The huge, life-changing, faith-changing wisdom I took from his message was: Prayer is talking to God, just like these words are talking to you on this page.
In this laundry list request method of prayer, we’re many times talking at God (at least I can say that for myself). Would you talk to your friends or spouse that way? It’s not how we participate in a relationship with someone. So, why would we talk to God in this way?
In our demanding world of responsibilities and to do lists, what happens if we just can’t seem to find time to pray for 10 to 20 minutes a day?
That’s Why We Pray Without Ceasing – Consider These Examples of Prayer
You can be anywhere and talk to God: in the car, at your desk, at the grocery store, or even in the shower. And what a blessing that you can talk in the car and no one looks at you strangely anymore. Thanks to Blue Tooth, everyone is seemingly talking to themselves on mobile phones! : )
Prayer is the breath of gratitude you exhale when you’ve just missed hitting the car in front of you that suddenly put on the brakes.
Prayer is the breath of wonder you inhale when you see an eagle fly overhead or witness a breathtaking sunset.
Prayer is a contented heart when you sit down for a cup of tea or coffee and just be for a while, conscious of God’s presence.
Prayer is the joy and love you receive when a cherished dog or cat rubs up against you. It’s a taste of the unconditional love God has for you.
Being Aware of God’s Presence Abiding Inside of You Allows You to Pray Without Ceasing
It’s keeping God top of mind instead of worry, anxiety, fear, doubt, stress, and busyness.
As you are conscious of God’s presence, you can lift a person up throughout your day. You can express gratitude for a job or a roof over your head, for clean drinking water at your fingertips, and so many other blessings.
When you pray without ceasing, you are rewarded with peace from God which surpasses all understanding.
Make a conscious choice to stop and take a deep breath throughout the day. I’ve started a habit in my journal where I write: Good Morning God, followed by a smile, a frown, or a neutral scribble. Part of the reason for the face is so I can see how my mood started that day. When I go back to read an entry later, I can see how the day unfolded. That little habit helps me to be conscious of my connection to God, saying good morning. Sometimes I’ll add Jesus and the Holy Spirit to my greeting. I choose to write Good Morning God as opposed to, Good God! It’s morning!
I am aspiring to live life as a prayer – pausing, petitioning, and praising, as I seek to live The Guided Life and to pray without ceasing.
May you discover in your own way what it means to pray without ceasing. As always, I love hearing your thoughts in return by commenting below.
If you want two resources to help you feel that connection to God, check out the guided meditation, Be Still and Know that I am God based off Psalm 46:10. I like to say that prayer is talking to God. Meditation is listening to God.
God Notes – Daily Doses of Divine Encouragement. This book features one simple word a day taken from the Bible expressed as a note from God. Most people open the book at random to see what word God has for them each day. They carry that word with them as a meditation and prayer throughout the day.