Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. (1 Thes. 16-19)
Have you ever contemplated the part of that scripture, “pray without ceasing?”
How is that possible?
If we pray without ceasing, does that mean we literally don’t do anything else?
I think it can be understood as keeping God in everything you are doing. Do take some uninterrupted, completely focused time to pray each day and then keep praying as you do everything else you need to do each day.
From our series on prayer, we know God wants to be a part of every moment with us. He wants to share in our joys, give wisdom when we need it and comfort us in our sorrow.
So how do we pray throughout our days?
Focused prayer time
We all need some time with God when nothing else is distracting us. In our hectic world, this may mean waking a bit earlier than usual in order to spend time with God in prayer.
I wrestled with this for several years after having my babies. I was tired. I wanted my sleep. My children didn’t like to sleep through the night for a VERY LONG TIME! So, I justified sleeping in as much as possible. I’d try to catch prayer time somewhere else in the day, but with two young children, this was very haphazard and inconsistent.
Through a friend’s invitation, we started waking up early to pray together. It was only going to be for a week, but then we got hooked. We saw how much God was doing in each of our lives and we didn’t want that to stop.
Now I wake up ridiculously early to have my uninterrupted time each day. (Though, I do miss some days in lieu of more sleep.) I actually pray each night before falling asleep for God to help me wake up early for our time together.
Here’s the crazy thing – many mornings my eyes will just pop open before my alarm clock! I know that is God, which helps me realize how much He wants to spend time with me, too.
If you don’t have a regular prayer time with God, figure out what time each day you could most consistently set aside for him. Maybe it’s before bed or during lunch. Whenever that time is, just do it! It will bring such change in your life!
A friend taught me this type of prayer years ago and then I actually read about an early Christian pilgrim who used this same kind of prayer.
It falls into the category of meditative prayer, too.
Here’s how it works:
You decide what phrase, verse, or line of prayer you want to focus on. It needs to be fairly short and sweet. Then, you break up the phrase so part of it is prayed on your inhale and part is prayed on your exhale.
For example, (Inhale) My Father (exhale) I trust you. (Inhale) My Father (exhale) I trust you.
I usually say the words in my head, but you could say them out loud, too.
I love this kind of prayer to help overcome old, unhealthy thought patterns. I know when I have an unhealthy belief it has usually taken years for it to form. The repetition of this prayer helps rewire my brain to believe God and His promises.
Praying in Tongues
Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27)
Have you ever felt so helpless in a situation that you don’t even know what to pray to make it better? I know I have. The verses above from Romans 8 let us know that the Holy Spirit is willing to pray on our behalf when we don’t know what to say. What is even more incredible is that He prays according to the will of God! I love that!
If praying in tongues seems strange to you, I encourage you to look up a message from Joyce Meyer on this subject. I listened to her message years ago and received the ability to pray in tongues. Once I’d received it, I practiced all the time.
Here is why I think praying in tongues is so important. Sometimes our thoughts get in the way of really understanding God’s will for our life and those we pray for. Tongues bypass that flaw. Another incredible aspect of praying in tongues is you can do it without having to think about it. Because the spirit is praying for you, you can actually be thinking about other things AND be praying.
Another incredible aspect of praying in tongues is you can do it without having to think about it. Because the spirit is praying for you, you can actually be thinking about other things AND be praying.
This is the type of prayer for me that enables me to “pray without ceasing.” When I first started praying in tongues, I did have to think about it. But I’ll find I’m praying without even realizing that’s what I’ve been doing. That is incredible to me!
Clearly, God does want us in constant communion with Him. He demonstrates this in so many ways. Let’s take advantage of this incredible gift of communication with Him he has given us!
I’d love to hear from you! What are ways you’ve been able to implement prayer into your daily life?