This post is from a devotion I wrote for 21 Days of Prayer at Lifepoint Church, leading up to Easter.
“Pray without Ceasing” – 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Easier said than done, right? In fact, of all the instructions in the Bible, this should be the easiest one. I mean, it doesn’t take much physical effort. You’re not denying yourself of anything. We talk all day long, so carrying on a continuous internal conversation with God should be a piece of cake.
So why is it that I so often find myself going hours, days,
I don’t even want to say how much longer than that without muttering more
than a few “thank
you for this food”s or “help
me get this done Lord”s?
In this command, I am the worst of sinners. Which is probably why I should NOT be writing a devotional on prayer - except to say that if you’re there too, I get it!
Paul puts it perfectly when he says, “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.” – Romans 7:15
I read that and think, “YES! Me too!”
So the question is: What do we do about this? We want to pray without ceasing. We want that constant communication – that day in and day out, every waking moment kind of relationship - with our Creator. But we just aren’t doing our part. We’re failing miserably.
“Oh what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? THANK GOD! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord!” – Romans 7:24-25
Grace. Christ’s death on the cross. It wins every time. Thank God! His grace covers us. God knows you in your deepest places. He knows the desires of our hearts (even when our actions don’t reflect them) and His grace is never ending.
Start today - right now even! Lets open up a dialogue with our Father and leave out the “Amen.” Keep it going. Write yourself some reminders and stick them around your house or set an alarm on your phone a few times a day and we can hope that one day we won’t need the reminding (although we probably will.) And that’s ok too! God’s Word doesn’t say, “pray without ceasing without having to be reminded.” The point is that our closest relationship is with Him; and that comes from time spent together. Lucky for us, He’s right there – ready to speak and to listen.
God, this is me, opening up the conversation once again. I desire to be in constant communication with you, but then the world and all of its distractions capture my attention again and again. Call me back Lord. Remind me to pray without ceasing – to keep the conversation going – and to listen for Your response. Lord may I become so enamored by You that I can’t go an hour without Your voice. In Jesus name I pray…