Devoted to sharing the Word of God - in uplifting, informative and encouraging posts.
" It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." John 6:63

Tuesday 5 November 2019

How do we Pray Without Ceasing?

We are perhaps familiar with the snap exhortations at the end of 1 Thessalonians 5, especially the command in v17: 
"Pray without ceasing”.
Meditating on this recently and also deeply burdened for special folk, I puzzled over the impossiblity of praying without ceasing.
The word is one - from Strong's Concordance:
"without ceasing" 
ἀδιαλείπτως adialeíptōs, ad-ee-al-ipe'-toce; adverb, uninterruptedly, i.e. without omission (on an appropriate occasion):—without ceasing.
Without ceasing, unceasingly, continuous action implied.
Simply put, it means a continuance of prayer constantly!
Elswhere in one of the Lord's parables on Prayer, in Luke 18 the Lord Jesus begins with:
Men ought always to pray, AND not to faint." 
i.e. not quit!
A human being is limited by physical limitations. 
However prayer is in the spiritual realm, of God, not of the physical or of man alone. 
It is intercession by the Spirit of God, on behalf of the blood-bought child of God, who trusts by simple faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
(How amazing is that??)
The Gospels repeat this verse in several places -
"WITH God, ALL things are possible".
Of myself, I cannot pray without stopping.
But with God's Spirit I can, if my heart is in the right place!
Romans 8:26-27
"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God."
God's Spirit is at work where our prayers lack, or where we may not even be able to pray, for our lips, words, hearts fail us ... 
God looketh on the heart.
He sees the great longing.. the prayer which you prayed at such a time is continuously presented until God's answer is given, as are the prayers of saints before us, Daniel, Moses, Isaiah, etc.
Does this mean we only pray once on something, then quit?
By no means! 
This is but one aspect of prayer without ceasing.
Luke 18 continues on with  the parable of the widow persisting with the unjust judge, she didn't quit:
The unjust judge said in
Luke 18:5,7-8a
"Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. ..."
Jesus continued 
"And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
I tell you that he will avenge them speedily..."
So another key is in persistence, a constancy, a faithfulness with continual  deligence in prayer against all odds, as Daniel did.. 3 times a day, visually before all he prayed but the prayer chapter of Daniel 9 reveals humility in his deep, private prayer of faith.
I struggle in this too, for we are but flesh, but find asking the Lord to keep the burden before you in your mind, in spite of busy-ness, this helps.
Also when praying for a person, whom many others have prayed for & yearned over very often in years past, I may say:
"Heavenly Father, I agree with all those who've prayed for this dear one according to Thy will, I lift before Thy throne all of their prayers, agreeing with them in those requests".
By prayer, not only is the impossible made possible, but the limited is unlimited!
We may too pray in brief short text-like prayers, like a quick conversation with a friend, it's another aspect of prayer without ceasing. 
They need not be much more than a swift, breathed-up prayer for help - wisdom, provision, grace or strength. Prayer is as natural as breathing to a believer in tune with the Father. 
So let me close with those pithy exhortations of First Thessalonians:
"Rejoice evermore!
Pray without ceasing.
For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you"
(I Thess 5: 16-18)
Let us KEEP on, keeping on!
Trust that this has blessed you as it has me!
May the Lord be with you, I'm  praying with you, agreeing with you in your burdens at the throne of grace, where we find grace to help in time of need (Heb 4:16)
Prayer hugs,
Shaz in Oz.x
On our rain front, MUCH answered prayer over weekend. I sat up late into Sun night, watching, praying over towns, naming them one by one, on the Bureau of Meteorology map. Rejoicing as the rain bands pulsed across, and numbers in green showed rainfall.

Darryn & Michelle at Carroll had 22mm (almost an inch) praise God, and Bourke had almost 100mm(4").
It was amazing to see water lying around in giant lake-like paddocks, and FB videos of dear old farmers dancing and running around jumping in it like kids! The joy of rain.. in Oz.

Praying on with fasting, as circumstances permit - for more, spiritual rain (a real soil stirring awakening   for eternity) and physical rain upon our sinfilled, wicked land.
May God have mercy as VERY much more of both is needed. Some towns out of water had none, but it was amazingly wide-spread, good falls.

We had none too.. but we’ve more access to water here.
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kiwimeskreations said...

Thank you for your encouragement Shaz - I certainly believe in the power of prayer! but am still working on consistency and continuity!
p.s. I hope your medical appointments went well last week.. My neck is well healed. Thank you for your prayers

Sunshine Country said...

This was exciting to hear of answered prayers for rain, praise the Lord! Will be continuing to pray along with you for moree, and especially spiritual needs of our countries most importantly as you said. So much needed there. I often feel my own self in such need, it is so easy to become complacent and accustomed to things how they are, without earnestly crying to the Lord for His mercy and grace to change hearts and also draw His people closer to Him. Thank you again for another reminder in this post to be faithful in prayer. I need this so much. Thank you also for your comment on my blog- yes, am still away from home, but have a little more ease in finding internet use for the time being. Appreciate your prayers as always.

Janet Christensen said...

You inspire me. Your words are what I need to hear. Thank you for your ministry that reaches me on the other side of the world. So pleased for the rain.

Anne said...

Such an uplifting and encouraging post to persevere! Daniel and I have been reading about this these past two days! It hadn't even occured to me to agree in prayer with others whom I either know or do not, in praying for a person or situation, so this is now something I will do. It helps to understand that we are not alone in our prayers, either with other people or the Holy SPirit. Tied with thanksgiving, prayer is so valuable and I speak as one whose prayer life is weak. Bless you dear Sis for building up the saints xxx

Brenda said...

Such a beautiful post Sharon, I feel like I pray all the time, probably not as often as I think but more often than some do. I pray during the day, evening and then wake up praying. Not always, but a lot. I so believe in the power of prayer so will always pray. Hugs, Brenda

Betsy said...

I do believe that prayer is the lifeblood for a Christian. I pray often, but can do better. I admit that my prayers are more like talking with and having a conversation with God. I believe He wants to hear from us in all things.
I am rejoicing with you in the rain for your land. I will continue to pray for even more. Even more than physical rain, this world needs the spiritual rain you mentioned.

Conniecrafter said...

So thrilled to hear about the answer to prayer and may he continue to bring more rain and healing to your land!