Pray . . . without ceasing?
By Don Bunting
As Paul concludes his letter to the church at Thessalonica, he gives a series of practical habits to incorporate into one's life. One of the statements: "...pray without ceasing..." (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Read the entire context. You will be richer for doing so.
What does it mean to pray without ceasing? God does not mean that once a prayer has begun it can never cease. If that were the case, we could not start another prayer! God's people are often in prayer. It may be understood as an on-going state of mind where one could, at any time or circumstance, address God with whatever was on the mind.
This constant praying is the result of a constant awareness of God, as well as a closeness to and trust in Him. Such a constant, continual attitude ready for brief moments in prayer can not substitute for specific times and occasions when a more focused, deliberate, and longer fellowship with God is enjoyed.
Pray without ceasing could be an admonition that we will never cease being people who pray. We continue to be people of prayer, through the years, over time and through all circumstances in life. Yes, we need to pray and not stop praying! No matter the experience and maturity we possess, our need for personal communion with God will not diminish. "Pray without ceasing."