Saturday, September 19, 2020

Praying without ceasing

My earliest memory of prayer is praying on my knees with my family. I was probably in preschool. My mom was there. My older sister too. I was part of a family prayed without ceasing. Our prayer life was not religious because we needed to pray. Our prayer was out of an incessant need to open our lives to the Maker of the Universe. We had needs only He could satisfy. Answers only He could give. So we prayed. 

Some answers came quick. Others came 4 decades after the eldest member in the family started praying. The good thing was that I learned that prayer is not about twisting God's arm. It is about presenting our petitions to a Father who hears and cares. He also wisely answers. Our response is to trust and keep living. 

These days, I am taking action toward my prayer life. How so? I'm praying with more intention. I pray daily. These days, I am searching the Scriptures and I am doing what it says. This is a command I am following:

"And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thes. 5:14-18(ESV)

Pray without ceasing. I am thinking about that. Have you ever done something without ceasing? We practice a few things without ceasing. Our heart beats without ceasing (thank God). We can't cease to drink water. We can't cease to sleep. We develop other habits that we do without ceasing. I want my prayer life to follow suit. 

Every now I focus on the discipline part of spiritual discipline. Prayer is in that category. I pray during meals. I pray in the morning. I pray for others. Still, these days, God is calling me to take a deeper approach to my prayer life. 

I want to be obedient. So I do. I listen. I pray for my family. I intercede on their behalf to a God who is completely faithful and reliable. The more I learn about God, the more I am encouraged to pray. 

Prayer is 100% about relationship. The more I spend time with God, the more I want to spend time with Him. Ending prayer time is actually a little sad. I want to linger. One day, when we see Him face-to-face, we will be able to do that. For now, we pray without ceasing. 

Practically, I have as much time to pray as I want to have. If I am serious about this discipline, I will abandon the hours I browse the internet and its addictive social media platforms and I will give myself to prayer.

God in His infinite wisdom gave every human being in the planet 24 hours. We get to use it however we want to. If I really want to pray, there's time. 

I look up to real people who decided to take God seriously. I admire people who decided to seek Him first and with all their strength. Their spirit is peaceful as a result. Their resemblance is of a person who has a great treasure now but also in the life to come. Their knowledge of the Holy One does not come from books but from spending hours in prayer. They look like their Heavenly Father. They are pleasant to be around. 

I'm not sure how your prayer life is. I am here to encourage you to pray without ceasing. Do it to get closer to God. Do it to know Him and His life-transforming power. 

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