pray without ceasing
1 Thessalonians 5:17
The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
As I was praying the other day, God impressed upon me the importance of such a venture–He reminded me of not only the power of prayer but also its necessity. Although we sometimes think of prayer as the thing to do when there is nothing else to do (“Well, I am too far away to physically help, so I’ll just pray,” or “I don’t know how to help, so I’ll just pray.”), prayer is active. It is powerful. It is necessary. It is essential. Prayer is not “just” anything. Prayer is to our spiritual life what water is to our physical.
Let’s think about water for a moment. Water is essential to every aspect of our lives. First of all, we need it to live. More than half of our bodies are made up of water, our organs require water to function, and a person without water will die in only a few days. Furthermore, we use water for most of our everyday tasks. We use it to cook and to clean–to clean ourselves, our children, our pets, the dishes, the clothes, the house, and the car. We use it to cool off in the summer, and we enjoy playing in its frozen form in the winter. We use it to put out fires, to give power to our homes, and to travel from place to place.
Life would be difficult, if not impossible, without water.
And so also our spiritual lives will be difficult, if not impossible, without prayer. Prayer should not be our last resort; it should be our life blood. Just imagine if we treated prayer the way we treat water. We would drink it in the morning to kickstart our digestion. We’d bring it everywhere, being sure to drink it throughout the day. We’d immediately feel the need for it if we waited too long to have some or ate something a little too salty. We would be sure to use it in everything, especially to clean and maintain ourselves, our family, our friends, and our stuff. We would harness its power, be revived by its freshness, and celebrate the joy that comes from it. Yes, if we treated prayer like water, our lives would never be the same.
Therefore, I encourage you to join me today in embracing the power and the necessity of prayer–join me in remaining diligent to continually maintain an attitude of prayer.
Living without prayer–living without communion with the Giver of life–is a spiritual death sentence, for when we cease praying, or when we only pray periodically, we are essentially depriving ourselves of spiritual nourishment. We’ll soon feel dry, parched, and sluggish. Our ability to think clearly and act wisely will become fuzzy, and we’ll become spiritually dehydrated.
Let’s not become spiritually dehydrated. Let’s pray–pray without ceasing. Let’s train ourselves to pray first in all things, to pray first in everything.
I cannot stress enough the importance of prayer. So today I will end as I began: with God’s Word. I pray that as you read His Word–as you drink in His Word–God will open your eyes to what He is saying: prayer is not “just” anything; prayer is everything.
The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
Psalms 145:18 ESV
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
Jeremiah 33:3 ESV
Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Matthew 26:41 ESV
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:16 ESV
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7 ESV
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people,
1 Timothy 2:1 ESV
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
1 John 5:14-15 ESV
And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
Revelation 5:8 ESV