Friday, September 05, 2014

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)

Pray without ceasing?  What on earth does that mean?  It's hard enough to find time to pray; I'm supposed to pray ALL THE TIME?!  I've heard people say that they "pray without ceasing," but I never really believe them.

So what does it mean to you?

A woman told me a story once about a visit she made to the hospital.  She was sitting in the waiting room, with other members of her family.  I'm sure you've had those times, trying to be patient while you are waiting for news about your loved one who is ill or injured.  While they waited, one of the family members asked this woman to pray.  Later, they told her that she hadn't done it right.  She needed to use more eloquent words - more elaborate syntax.  It was a long time before she would pray in public again.

Do we have preconceived notions about what prayer is?  Must it be "just right?"  Is prayer only those times when you talk to God, in sentences and paragraphs -- explaining to God your needs and wants, and hoping God provides?

Yesterday, I wrote about other kinds of prayer.  Do you think I'm right?

For me, sometimes the best, most productive prayer is those times when I'm not speaking to God. Sometimes, I hear God best when I listen.  And that is prayer.  I wish I could say that I did it without ceasing, but I think we could all open our minds and our hearts more often to hear God speak.



Blogger birdwatcher said...

A special friend of me reminds me from time to time that God's first language is silence. Food for thought. Goes right along with "be still...".

4:31 PM  

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