I’d always kind of wondered how to pray without ceasing (1 Thess.5:17, NRSV,*) as the Bible tells us to do. You know, we have normal lives to live, right? We can’t drop everything to just pray. So what is the secret for praying without ceasing?
I had already learned to pray while working or driving and I cherished my special times of prayer but then I noticed that my whole internal monologue had become a dialogue with God. I seem to form my thoughts as prayers. Hence the stream of my mind is a continual prayer.
Instead of talking to myself, I talk to God. Hence I pray without ceasing. Much more productive, don’t you think? Talking to oneself does not make a difference but talking to God most certainly does, sooner or later.
How to pray without ceasing
So how does this happen? How can we all pray without ceasing? We are called to live in the Spirit, right? When we daily surrender our lives to Jesus, the Holy Spirit is breathing in us. And praying without ceasing is meant to be as natural as breathing. When we abide in Jesus, his Spirit occupies our minds and we start having a continual dialogue with God.
For example, when I see a person that could use some help, in my mind I say “Lord, bless this person”. While reading the newspaper in the morning, I cry “Lord, have mercy! Intervene, Lord!”. When I am walking I pour out my to-do-list to God “This is a mile-long list, Lord, I don’t know how I am ever going to finish. Thank you this is not about my ability but yours. Come and illuminate my thoughts and guide my steps. Empower me to do what needs to be done”. And my last thought before I fall asleep in the evening goes like this “Thank you, Lord, for the day.”
Jesus has become my best friend, my partner in life. He is my strength, my joy, my everything. Praying without ceasing is living with God, sharing your thoughts and struggles with him. It starts with admitting we can’t do it alone and we need Jesus. When we daily surrender to Jesus, we are on our way to pray without ceasing.
I know this might sound crazy. But I hope you will give it a try. Soon you walk through your day with a continual dialogue with God. And there’s nothing better.
Thanks for inviting us to live with you.
It is amazing that you want to know our intimate thoughts.
Thanks for welcoming us as we are
so we don’t have to polish ourselves for you,
because you want to do it yourself.
We surrender to you, Lord.
Be our God, show us the way.
Bless us according to YOUR plan for us.
Be eternally praised!
In Jesus’ precious name,
Q4U: What do you think? Do you want to pray without ceasing?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you live and celebrate your life with God!