Pray Without Ceasing
Have you ever read the seventeenth verse of 1 Thessalonians chapter 5, and questioned how one might pray without ceasing? So did I, until recently. Through an intense, online discipleship program that I have been apart of for the past month (more on that later), I learned the truth about what this verse is saying. When you think of prayer, you probably picture someone talking to God. No matter the place or the subject at hand, we think of prayer as us talking to God. This is partly true, but if all we do is talk, we’ll quickly feel less than satisfied with our “prayer life”.
We humans love to talk, sure, but if we don’t leave room for another person to talk, how do we know they’re truly listening? And how can we ever learn? Prayer is not a monologue! Prayer is a conversation between you and God. A conversation means that both people talk and both people listen. When you realize this, praying without ceasing seems feasible! You can pray without ceasing by always listening: being alert and attentive to God’s voice. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t talk to God, because He’s the most important One to talk to, and the One who never stops listening! But so many of us Christians go off on the other extreme: we talk, rather than pray, without ceasing. As this truth was unveiled to me, I wrote a poem about prayer: what my prayer time is like, and what it should be like. Maybe you will see yourself in this poem.
“I had a talk with God one day, for a prayer life was my mission.
While I poured out all my joys and cares, He just sat and listened.
After a steady monologue, I didn’t hear from God a sound;
And I was soon swept away by the cares of the day, while the Lord sat back and frowned.
So this had been my prayer life, yes, each and every day;
Until one morn, my poor self was torn, for I had run out of words to say.
I closed my weary lips slowly, ending my so called prayer;
Then so quickly I heard a still soft word from a voice I knew not was there.
My Heavenly Father was speaking sweet words to His listening child.
I was cleansed from within by each truth I took in, so from now on I’ll listen awhile.”
“Go near and hear all that the Lord our God says”