Prayer is a means by which we communicate with God. It helps us develop a better relationship with Him and it is also a powerful way to connect to Him. As a believer, prayer is important, and in the bible, there are lots of examples that show us the significance of prayer, from the old testament, where we recorded the first mention of prayer in Genesis 4:26 (GNB Seth had a son whom he named Enoch. It was then that people began using the Lord’s holy name in worship). Although there are communications with God recorded earlier in the bible, e.g., Genesis 3:8-13 and Genesis 4:9.
Also, in the Gospel accounts, we find that Jesus prayed in all aspects of his life and made prayer His spiritual discipline. Following the events in the bible, we notice that prayer is essential for the growth of our spiritual life.
God wants us to pray at every point in our life. He wants us to pray without ceasing, but what does it mean to pray without ceasing? In his first letter to the Thessalonians, St Paul told us to pray without ceasing. What do we understand by that statement? Praying without ceasing means praying without season, to pray often, being inclined in prayer, and making prayer your priority, just as Jesus did.
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What does it mean to Pray Without Ceasing
Apostle Paul in his letter to the Thessalonians discussed the importance of prayer;
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, GNB “Be joyful always, pray at all times, be thankful in all circumstances. This is what God wants from you in your life in union with Christ Jesus.” This epistle was written after Apostle Paul established the congregation there. He commended the church for their growing love for Christ and told them to be prepared for Jesus’Jesus’ second coming by following God’s commandments and always praying. This is where Apostle Paul talked about “Pray without ceasing.”
Paul urged the church of Thessalonians in his fifth chapter to hold onto the Gospel and do what is righteous and appealing to God. They were reminded of the importance of prayer as it will strengthen their faith in God and help them know the real truth so as not to be deceived by false messages.
Without ceasing means without intermission, continuously, consistently, constantly. Most Bible versions leave the interpretation verbatim as “pray without ceasing,” while other versions interpret it in the language that will best pass the message of Apostle Paul. All the bible versions still relay the same message, which is to “pray without ceasing.”
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How can we pray without ceasing?
The Holy Scripture has made us understand that prayer is significant to our faith. It is also a way to give God our praises and thanks, tell him of our fear and worries, and how we hear from him. So to learn how to pray without ceasing, we should;
Create habits that encourage us to pray constantly
You need to have an unending dialogue with God as a believer. The conversation should not be fixed to a particular time (mornings, nights, in good times or bad times), a particular position (while kneeling or standing), or a particular place.
You can pray while going to work, at work, in school, while eating, or while having your bath. Remember that we are not limited when it comes to prayer. God hears our innermost thought, Romans 8:26 (GNB …the Spirit himself pleads with God for us in groans that words cannot express) and Psalms 139:2 (GNB … from far away you understand all my thoughts.)
The above bible verse explains that we do not have to pray out loud for God to hear us.
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Have confidence that God is always with us and listens to our prayers.
The reason we pray is for God to listen to our prayers, so once we believe in our heart that God is there with us to listen whenever we pray, we have the conviction to always pray. Matthew 28:20 (GNB … “I will be with you always, to the end of the age.”)
Jesus Christ assures us through this scripture that though he is going to be with his father in heaven, he is still with us to listen to our prayers till the end of time.
Believe that God controls our lives.
As we go about our daily activities, we shouldn’t believe that we are in charge of what happens to us. Having this belief will give us no reason to pray to God. But when we believe in our hearts that God is in control, we will always run to him both in good and bad times.
Why we should pray without ceasing
There are lots of reasons why we should pray without ceasing ;
- To ask for forgiveness since all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.
- To be in a good relationship with God
- To give thanks and praise for God’s abundant blessing in our life.
- To always fall back to Him when we are scared or weary.
- To receive guidance on what to do.
Bible Verses on Praying 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
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. – Romans 12:12
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. – Ephesians 6:18
Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually. – 1 Chronicles 16:11
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. – Colossians 4:2
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. – Philippians 4:6
Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, – Luke 18:1
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. – Jeremiah 33:3
Praying without ceasing doesn’t just mean praying constantly, it means making prayer your priority as it is significant for our spiritual growth, helps us connect to God, and shows us the absolute truth so as to avoid false messages and communicate with God.
When you make prayer part of your lifestyle, praying without ceasing becomes easy. This way, you do what pleases God. You can pray while you have your bath, at work, in distress, when happy, and in every aspect of your life.
You mustn’t be in a particular position to pray. You can do that while standing, kneeling, closing your eyes, or leaving them open. Follow the teachings of Christ to learn how best to pray (Matthew 6:9-13).