PRAY WITHOUT CEASING - 1 Thessalonians 5:17

PRAY WITHOUT CEASING - 1 Thessalonians 5:17 - Proclamation Coalition

"pray without ceasing," 1 Thessalonians 5:17


Of all the Christian disciplines, prayer might be the most powerful but simultaneously the most neglected. It can be hard to know where to start. In a world of instant gratification, it isn’t the most utilized practice, as the impact it has on our lives isn’t always immediately clear. Sadly, many miss out on the depth, intimacy, and richness found in these moments of communion with God that they can’t get anywhere else. I have heard it tragically said that the devil is unbothered with us studying our Bible so long as we aren’t praying. If all we do is acquire more and more knowledge and do the things Christians do without any real relationship with God, we’re missing the point. It’s like knowing all about the cure for a fatal disease that is afflicting you but not taking it. God, in His sovereignty, sometimes limits Himself from intervening in our lives until we pray. Why? Because He desires the relationship to develop out of prayer. He could fix your problems without you asking, but would you really give Him the credit then? Would you praise Him? Would your relationship with Him grow?


Like neighbor kids creating a string telephone to communicate, we have a direct line to communicate with the creator of the universe. God cares about you. Not just your future and salvation but your everyday life. Prayer is a discipline where we get to come to Him, ask for our daily bread with great expectation, and receive it. Although not always how we expect, God gives generously when we ask in faith. We must first ask. 


A life consumed with talking to God brings peace and joy. Each day, we can talk with our Father and Creator and have our hearts aligned properly. When we fix our eyes more on Him and think of ourselves less often, our anxieties and worries dissipate because He reminds us of His character, nearness, and kindness toward us. In complete dependence, we confidently approach the throne with our requests because He genuinely cares for what we may think is insignificant. Most importantly, in prayer, we ought to create space where we sit silently, yield, and let God respond. Prayer will transform your life. Don’t let the fact that you don’t see its immediate effects discourage you from praying at all. 


So, as Paul says in 1 Thessalonians: rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances. This is the natural outpouring of the Spirit’s desires working through us. Praying without ceasing is about the posture of our hearts. It is a reflex we develop when we realize we can do nothing apart from God. Being constant in prayer tunes our hearts to what pleases God and aligns our will and desires with His. 


Thankfully, our prayers don’t need to be perfect to be effective. Rather, in Luke 11:5-13, Jesus paints a picture of prayer that is quite the opposite. He asks you to imagine yourself as a shameless friend, pestering your friend for bread in the middle of the night. He goes on to say, “But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.” Luke 11:8. We can come to God shamelessly—messiness and all because of what Christ accomplished for us on the cross. God knows that when we come to Him, we don’t have the full picture. We don’t know what to ask for as we ought. Rest assured that He is gracious to us and will meet you in your need despite not having it all together. He desires to hear our needs and to talk to us without ceasing.

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