“Pray without ceasing” is one of the more familiar phrases in the Bible. However, while many people know this Biblical truth, they do not know what it means.
We know that we should pray, but we don’t know how. We know that we ought to pray, but we don’t understand prayer. We even want to pray more faithfully, but we struggle to pray.
It is in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, when Paul makes this statement. It is the end of the letter in the midst of the apostle’s final instructions and blessings, when he encourages the church in Thessalonica toward prayer.
What does he mean? What is he instructing them to do? What does intend for their prayers to be like?
Does he mean pray more? Does he mean for them to never stop praying? Is that even realistic? While “Pray without ceasing” is a nice, little, godly expression, what really does it mean?
In short, it means to be more focused and faithful in our prayers to God. It means to be more Godward, more God-centered, more sincere in faith when we are praying to God.
It does not necessarily mean to pray more, although it may point us in that direction.
It does not necessarily mean to pray more often or to pray longer, although we may need encouragement in that direction.
It is not speaking as much to the quantity of our prayer lives as it is to the quality of our prayer lives. Christians are those who understand that our spiritual lives are not marked by all that we do for God, but rather our lives are marked by our dependence upon God.
With that said, I want us to be a praying church. I don’t want us to just talk about prayer – I want us to pray. And I don’t want us to just pray – I want us to want to pray. And I don’t want us to just want to pray – I want us to want the God that we are praying to. That is the heart behind praying without ceasing! May we never cease in wanting to call out to our God through prayer!
Once again, we are coming up on our 24 Hours of Prayer event. This event is one of my favorite things we do as a church. Please be sure to sign up for a time slot to pray!
With all sincerity,
Your Pastor, Josh