Brothers and sisters, I’ve thought about prayer quite a bit lately. I’ve gone though times in my life when my prayer life wasn’t what it should have been. Even during the times in my life when I’ve prayed a lot, I fall far short. I’m sure if we all examined ourselves honestly before God we would see that we do not pray as often or as well as we’d should. I see the words “praying always” used in both Colossians 1:3 and Ephesians 6:18. Can we pray too much?
I Thessalonians 5:17 says to “pray without ceasing.”
Does this mean we can’t ever do anything besides pray?
I could not find the word “continuously” in God’s word. However, I found that “continually” occurs 81 times. A quick peek in the dictionary reveals that continuously means “without interruption”, while continually means “frequently recurring”. For instance, one might make the accurate statement that, “Randall is continually hungry.” That’s accurate because there are times each day when I get hungry; it’s something that frequently recurs. However, to make the statement that, “Randall is continuously hungry,” is inaccurate; I am far from being hungry after I eat a full meal.
I believe I Thessalonians 5:17 is telling us to be in prayer continually but not continuously.
Take Psalm 34:1 as another example:
I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
If the LORD’s praise were continuously in our mouth, we could never eat. After all, our mothers all taught us never to talk with our mouths full. Of course, the verse reads, “continually” rather than “continuously”, so we’re safe. 🙂 Likewise, we should be in prayer continually, which is perfectly reasonable.
We find that the brethren in God’s holy scriptures were continually in prayer. “Peter went up upon the housetop to pray” in Acts 10:9. We notice that in Acts 10:2, Cornelius “prayed to God alway“. We should be in prayer not just on Sunday morning. We should be in prayer not just before our Thanksgiving meal when gathered with family.
God has blest us with tremendous and unspeakable blessings. Our mouths should continually be giving him thanks for these blessings.
We as sinners are also in constant need of His mercy and grace in our daily lives. We should be going before our Father in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ and asking for His help…not just for ourselves but for all His dear children who need Him daily. We need His forgiveness. We need Him to direct us in paths of righteousness as we make decisions daily.
If we are to be continually in prayer, what should we pray for? How should we pray? What should our prayers be like? You can read “the book” and get ahead of me if you’d like! Or just show up next time for the exciting conclusion! Until then, may God’s grace and peace shine upon you!