Pray Without Ceasing

To pray without ceasing has puzzled many people. They even say that if they would do this, they would not have time to do anything else. The truth is that if you do not pray without ceasing, you will not be able to accomplish what you should be accomplishing. Praying without ceasing is not only possible, it is necessary if we are going to fulfill our destiny as Christians.

The Commandment

I Thess. 5:17 (NKJV) says: “pray without ceasing.” Other translations say it a little differently. (NIV): “pray continually.” (Living Bible): “Always keep on praying.” This seems to be a commandment that is easy to understand. Yes, it is. It just seems impossible to implement.

What Is Prayer?

We do not truly understand what prayer is because the dictionary gives us a very limited definition of prayer. “Prayer is the act of asking for a favor with earnestness; a petition, a solemn petition addressed to an object of worship.” Thus, we understand prayer is only a specific act that we do at a specific time.

I have never seen a definition in a dictionary that says that prayer is an attitude, a way of life. And yet, that is exactly the definition that Bible gives to “prayer.” Yes, prayer is a petition to God. Yes, prayer is addressing the One that we worship, that is, God. But prayer is much more than this. Prayer is a relationship, an attitude that we have toward another.

Prayer is not a one-way speech but rather a two-way dialogue with God. Too often, we tell God what we want, say “amen” and get back to what we were doing. Prayer is not a speech, it is a dialogue with God. It is taking time to get to know God and what He wants for us.

Prayer Is a Relationship

We must first understand what prayer is. It is not a position that we put ourselves into or a time that we set aside in our life. It is a spiritual connection that we have with God. It is a relationship that we develop with God.

We develop this relationship in exactly the same way that we develop a relationship with another human being. It is something that we deliberately do. We never develop a friendship with another person unless we decide that we want that relationship and do what we need to do to develop that relationship.

The same is true with God. We will not develop a friendship with God unless we deliberately decide that we want that relationship and then do what we need to do to develop that relationship. So how do we develop that relationship?

Specific Times For Prayer

If we really want to learn to pray, the first thing we must do is set aside some specific times for prayer. It is exactly like the process that you use to get to know someone as a friend. Because that is what you are doing with God. You are getting to know Him as a friend. Why? Because that is exactly what God wants from you, to be His friend.

So, just like you would set a date with someone to set down and talk with them to get to know them better, you do the same thing with God. In other words, set aside some time during the day to be alone with God.

Prayer Is Talking With a Friend

This is what prayer is all about, communicating with a friend. And if you have not made God your friend yet, this is the first step you take to make Him your friend.

You say that you can do this in a church service. However, do you really get to know someone if the only time that you get to talk with them is when you are with a lot of other people? No, you sit down with them, one on one, when no one else is around so you can each concentrate solely on each other. That is exactly how you get to know God as a friend.

Are you making God, or more specifically Jesus, as your new friend? You decide if you want to address God as “God” or as “Jesus.” Remember Jesus is God. Addressing God as Jesus does make it more personal with many people because we, as humans, can identify easier with Jesus than we can with “God.” After all, Jesus did come down to earth and died in our place for our sins.

Prayer Is Sharing Experiences With a Friend

After you and another person have become good friends, you find that you just enjoy hanging out with each other. You don’t really want to do things by yourself. That is exactly what happens when you and God become good friends.

You soon discover that you enjoy bringing God into every experience that you have. You make sure that He is there with you, no matter what you are doing.

You also discover that you really don’t enjoy anything if God is not a part of the experience.

Life becomes much more real because we are constantly aware of the spirit world around us. We become aware of the good and evil that is around us in the spiritual world, and how it directly influences us in everything that we do.

Praying In Tongues

This is a special type of prayer because it is not our mind that is praying but rather the Holy Spirit praying for us. It is giving ourselves over to the Holy Spirit and giving Him complete control over us. It is allowing God to use us to bring about His will on the earth.

For some, this is an easy process. For others, it takes a long time to enable God to use us in this way. But this is a subject for another time.

God Speaks To Us Through His Bible

Most people don’t think of prayer in this light. But God gave us His Bible for a reason, so that we could know Him better. And that is what prayer is, getting to know God better.

God will speak to us through His Bible. That is why we need take time to read and study it. If we want God as our friend, we need to get to know what God thinks about and He has revealed that to us in the Bible.

This communication with God is especially important when we are first getting to know God. It will much easier for us to hear God’s voice if we are able to recognize how He talks and how He sounds. This is how we recognize a friend’s voice on the telephone. We have spent enough time with him/her in person to easily recognize his/her voice.

We learn to recognize how God talks and how He sounds by reading His Bible. Do you want to hear God’s voice? Spend enough time reading His Word (Bible) so you can recognize God when He speaks to you.

What Praying Without Ceasing Does For Us

One very important thing that you discover is that you are not engaging in questionable activities any more. You do not even enjoy them because you know that God doesn’t enjoy them.

This type of praying gives us power for living. It gives us the ability to live as God wants us to live. Why? Because we have made God a part of everything we do. We have learned to value His input in everything we do.

Is God a part of your everyday life? Do you share every experience you have with God? If you are doing this, you are praying without ceasing and you have made God your friend.

Many people have asked: “How can I know if I am going to heaven?” If you have made Jesus (God) your friend while you are here on the earth, do you think that He will be waiting for you on the other side of death? Of course! If He is your friend now, He will be your friend for eternity.

 S




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