“Over the many times we’ve been getting together,” Stan commented one morning, “we’ve talked a lot of about prayer.”
“You’re right,” I responded, “what it is, what it isn’t, the purpose of prayer, the role of the Holy Spirit in prayer, and all sorts of things. You got something else?”
“Not really,” Stan replied. “But earlier this morning I was reading in the apostle Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians and as I was reminded about the first time I read a particular verse in that letter. I laughed out loud at myself.”
“Laughed out loud at yourself?” I said. “Why?”
“When I first read Paul’s admonition to the church that they should pray without ceasing,” Stan said, “I thought that was one of the most impractical things I had ever read.”
“I remember thinking and asking myself,” Stan responded, ‘how am I going to get anything done if I’m spending all of my time on my knees praying?’”
“Seems like a logical question,” I said.
“Logical only because I didn’t understand what my prayer life and what my relationship with the Holy Spirit are supposed to look like.”
Continuing, he added, “If my only view of prayer was getting on my knees and praying to God the Father, it was logical to think that such praying without ceasing would keep me from doing anything else. That was going to be a lot of prayer and my knees were probably going to get real sore! But I don’t think that’s what Paul was writing about.”
“If that’s not the point Paul wrote about, what is?”
“I think Paul’s point is more about being in constant communication with God. And people don’t have to get on their knees to do that.”
I didn’t say anything, so Stan continued.
“It seems to me that to pray without ceasing, or to be in constant communication with God, is one of the main reasons God the Father sent the Holy Spirit to live within each believer.”
“As I remember it,” I replied, “the Holy Spirit is also called ‘the Helper.’ You think maybe that’s why He called that, because He helps us be in constant communication with God the Father.”
“You’re right,” Stan replied. “I do think that’s one of the main reasons God has gifted us with Himself in the form of the Holy Spirit so we can, indeed, pray or be in communication with Him without ceasing.”
“The availability of uninterrupted communication with God,” I said. “Who could possibly not cherish that?”
“The only ones I can think of are those who forget that communication involves listening as well as speaking, and maybe they don’t want to listen to what God has to say!”
Bible verses to consider:
Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, . . . . Ephesians 6:18.
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you. John 14:16-17.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you allow me to come before you in prayer and that you want me to pray without ceasing by being in constant contact with you. Thank you that you are available and that you want constant communication with me. I confess that too often I am not in constant communication with you because I choose to separate myself from you. Please forgive that foolish approach of trying to live this life without being in constant contact with you. Please help me to follow every step of your lead so I do, in fact, pray without ceasing and have an ever-deepening personal relationship based on knowing you through that communication. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you accepted God’s free and gracious provision of life eternally with Him when it is time so that you have the opportunity to be in constant communication with Him while He keeps you here? If you have not come to faith, why is that? What’s in the way that needs to be removed? If you are a Christian, how are you doing with being in constant communication with God while you are on this side? As well as you would like? As well as God would like? If you sense the need for change in regard to this, how is that change going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?