“When I first became a Christian,” Stan began, “I was more of a minimalist Christian than anything else. I got involved with a little bit of Bible reading, but no serious study. I would read a little bit here and a little bit there.”
“Once in awhile, when I felt like it.”
“Probably a lot of people like that,” I replied.
“I don’t know about that,” Stan replied, “but I do remember one day reading in one of the apostle Paul’s letters something that I thought had to be the most impractical thing I could imagine for anyone to do.”
“What was that?” I asked.
“In his first letter to the church in Thessalonica, Paul wrote that the church should pray without ceasing.”
“What about that sounded so impractical?” I responded.
“I had a shallow understanding of prayer,” Stan replied, “and I did not understand what praying was all about. I thought how in the world could I spend all of my time on my knees praying. I would never get anything done.”
“I guess that could be a reasonable question,” I responded.
“Not when I matured some and figured out what I think the apostle was really telling me,” Stan said.
“To pray without ceasing does not involve being on my knees all of the time,” Stan continued. “No, it’s a matter of being in constant contact with God, as in being in contact without ceasing.”
“I had to get my mind around the notion that prayer is intended by God to be a lifestyle that involves constant communication, not just a time I set aside to tell Him what I want.”
Continuing, he said, “Praying is not to be according to when it is convenient for me to have a ‘prayer time’. Prayer is not something to do if I’m not too busy doing something else.”
“All that sounds like a lot of prayer,” I responded.
“It is, my friend,” Stan replied. “And that’s the way it’s supposed to be.”
“Now that I know the magnificent wonder of being allowed to be in constant contact and communication with the Lord God Almighty,” Stan concluded, “I can’t imagine a life where I’m not praying without ceasing!”
Pray without ceasing. I Thessalonians 5:17.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you make available to me the magnificent provision of being in constant communication with you. I confess that too often I do not pray without ceasing, but, instead, limit my prayers to times that are convenient for me. Please forgive me for that foolishness. And please open me to see all of the wonder of being in constant contact with you about everything that is in my life, as well as what you want to be in my life. Please Father, lead my prayer life and help me to truly pray without ceasing. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Things to think (and journal) about:
1. What is your biggest take-away from this devotional?
2. What does this devotional say about God and about us as His people?
3. What is God saying to you to do personally?
4. Who can you share this with to make a difference?
Comments, questions, suggestions, and the like can be addressed to The Storyteller at: firstname.lastname@example.org.