“pray without ceasing,” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV
In Paul's closing of the first letter to the church in Thessalonica, he offers them guidance on how they are to conduct themselves as Christians. In this exhortation, he also instructs them they are to “pray without ceasing.” What does that mean? Are we to spend all day long in prayer? Well, yes and no. We are not expected to spend the entire day in constant prayer. As an example, think of how it would be to say the Lord’s Prayer’s from the time you wake to the time you sleep. It’s not very practical, and in honesty would shortly become rote and without meaning, defeating the purpose of the prayer. What we can do is keep in a constant attitude of prayer. Absolutely you should set aside time each day dedicated for prayer and reflection, but also throughout the day as situations arise pause and lift your concern up to God. God’s prayer line is open 24x7, 365 days a year. Whenever you hear an emergency vehicle pass, pray for the people in danger and the first responders. When you get the call from that friend who is sick, there is no need to wait for formal prayer, lift their need up to God immediately (and add them to your prayer list). No formal words need to be spoken aloud with the poetic “Thee’s” and “Thou’s”, a quick earnest, silent prayer has the same effect.
God, we give you thanks for are always listening to our prayers; your prayer line never closes. Help us this day to keep a constant line of communication open with you. Amen.