“Pray without ceasing” 1 Thessalonians 5:17
It’s one little verse, tucked away that packs a big punch. But it’s only a part of a sentence.
Rejoice, always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
We have talked about these verses before. “Rejoice always”, that can be hard when you’ve been stuck in your home for several days with extreme cold and no heat. That can be hard when you are still praying for that circumstance that you feel like no end will ever be in sight. That can be hard when you just got the diagnosis that seems like the world is about to come to an end. But as a christian we are not rejoicing in our circumstances, or our surroundings. Our joy is the deep down joy that only comes from following Jesus.
To me to pray without ceasing means to have that constant communication going with Jesus all day every day. I love my mornings with Him. Whether I am having my quiet time in front of my fireplace or on my sun porch watching the sun rise over the lake, it is what keeps me going. My life would be such a wreck without it. But this praying without ceasing, or praying always, or to never stop praying. It’s about the relationship you have gained through those quiet times so that it’s just as important to you as breathing. The Passion Translation says “Make your life a prayer”! Oh isn’t that good! When you build a relationship with Jesus from having daily quiet times with Him and study His word, praying does become as much a part of your day as breathing. The things that I have on my heart that concern me are there all the time, but for me to make my life a prayer or to pray without ceasing is a knowing that He knows my heart all the time and He is taking care of it. It’s like being in a crowded room where you have gone with your spouse or even a friend and looking across the room and knowing that your person is still there with you. It’s a presence that is with you all the time when you have learned how to pray without ceasing. Jesus is with you all the time, He knows your thoughts and He knows your heart, just keep giving it over to Him, all day long every day!
And then we “give thanks in all circumstances”. Not FOR all circumstances, not FOR all the junk and the hurt and the hardship and the pandemics and the ice storms and the storms of life in general, but IN them! Knowing that He is with you, knowing that He has our ultimate good in mind. When I am in the middle of the hard, messy, gross stuff of life and I feel like I am at the end of my rope and I know I NEED His presence. I just ask Him to show me. And He delivers every time, if I take the time to look for Him. That’s how I can give thanks even in the hard circumstances of my life.
How have you seen Him this week? What can you be joyful for? What can you be thankful for? Above all Never stop praying! If you have that hurt you need Him to heal. Keep praying! If you have that wayward child that you don’t know when it will ever stop. Keep praying! If you have that illness that may not turn out the way you want. Keep praying! Stay in constant communication with Him and look for the ways He is communicating with You!