Pray Without Ceasing
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
~ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Many times we feel pressure to do things as Christians. We are told we need to give more, volunteer more, read our Bible more, etc. The list goes on and on until we sometimes feel so overwhelmed that we just resign ourselves to feeling like a subpar, inferior Christian. I don’t believe God wants us to feel defeated. Remember, His goal for us is liberation, and restoration.
Now with this being said, I must add one thing. Just a five minute prayer on your knees is guaranteed to bless, rejuvenate, and bring peace to your already full, stressful life. My suggestion is to do it on your knees, but it is not necessary. God is not more pleased with one on your knees, than one standing up or sitting down, head bowed or head lifted, or eyes closed or eyes open. These things do not matter.
Find a spot, even if it’s on the bathroom floor. Stretch out your back muscles, and feel that wonderful pressure release on each vertebrate. Take a deep breath. When you breathe in say, “Holy Spirit fill me,” when you breathe out say, “I release myself to you.” Do this a couple times. If you absolutely cannot think of anything to say, just say, “Thank you,” then be still and listen. If you need a plan, one that really works is to fashion your prayer after two things, The Lord’s Prayer, and the 23rd Psalm.
Here is an example:
“My perfect holy Father in heaven and in my heart, you are my shepherd and there is nothing I lack. I give you thanks. You restore my soul through your peace. I look forward to your return, but until then I pray I will do your will. Provide my needs, and protect me from evil, so that even in death I have nothing to fear. Forgive me, and help to forgive and love others. I realize everything comes from you, and only you are worthy to be praised. This I pray over my family, the church, the leaders of the world, and all people. Let my attitude be one of prayer all day. In Christ name I pray, Amen”
That’s all there is to it. Then during the day when you hug a child, you have hugged Jesus. When you stood patiently in line, you did it for Christ. When you showed compassion and understanding, it was for Jesus’ sake. When you see the blue sky, you give thanks. When a friend asks for your advice, you ask for help. When you blurt out a bad word, you apologize. When someone was rude, you ask for a forgiving heart. When you pass a homeless person, toss a little change their way. When you feel overwhelmed, breathe in His peace. When you feel pain, seek Him. Quite literally, all day you have prayed by saying, “Thank you, help, and forgive me,” and by doing random acts of kindness in Jesus’ name.
A prayer life need not to be another chore to add to our already long list. We need to remind ourselves that God’s yoke is easy. We like to make it difficult so that we can beat on our chest in pride and say, “Look what I have done. I have studied my Bible for three hours, and prayed for an hour, and gave my time and my money. Just look what a good person I am.” Boasting to others, or even within ourselves, is not God’s desire for us. If we boast at all, it is only in Jesus, and what He has accomplished.
We must always remember, it’s never about us. It’s all about the one who created us in His image, who gave His life willingly, and who loves and wants a relationship with us. Let your service to Him bring you peace. If it’s not bringing peace, but instead it’s an added burden to your already stressful life, then maybe something is wrong.
I love you Lord. Amen
~ Jenny Calvert