1 Thessalonians 5:16-22
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil.
Devotion by Julia Shiver
When I was a younger Christian, I wondered how in the world someone could pray without ceasing. My prayer life hadn’t grown beyond the bent knee, folded hand, earnest discussion with God kind of prayer. I would feel guilty if I hadn’t spent X amount of time in prayer, daily, and with a certain discipline that God didn’t gift me with to begin with. “I will be praying for you” became a heavy load to bear.
Gradually I came to understand that praying without ceasing is more an attitude, of being conscious of God’s presence within me at all times. When I lie awake at night thinking about my family and all the concerns I have, that is a prayer. When I read one of our Joys and Concerns, my thoughts and feelings for that person or situation become a prayer, usually repeated throughout the days. When I am on the water, at a river, lake or beach shore, the sun sparkling on the water becomes my praise to God for the wonder of God’s creation and for the blessings in my life that make it possible to be in that moment.
Dear God, thank you for the gift of praying without ceasing. I rejoice in it. Amen.