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What does it mean to pray without ceasing?

One of the things I want to work on this fall is developing an attitude of prayer. I write almost every morning now, so it quickly gets redundant to both keep a prayer journal AND write. My prayer life used to be vibrant and active. But now, I'm counting it good to utter prayers under my breath after my quiet time in the morning.

I've realized that pondering God's Word and contemplating His scripture, is different than praying to Him. Something miraculous happens deep in my faith when I pray, asking God for wisdom and grace. When I pray, it's a a reminder to myself that I believe God can, even if I'm not sure He will. As the issue works out, changes or simply subsides, God becomes greater even while I become less.

I'm not saying this can't happen anyway - without a vibrant prayer life - because it does. It happens despite myself, right? Despite doubts, questions and complaints. But when I do actually pray, when I actually make requests of God and actually beg Him to come through and then He does something great? That's when the magic happens, y'all.

I want to see that. I want to be that girl who prays and believes big things for the Kingdom.

A big part of vibrant prayer is slowing down in the first place to pray. It's giving yourself a reminder to notice God's hand working in and through and around you. When we pray big prayers, or even small ones, we are more aware of His presence throughout our everyday.

"Be anxious for nothing, but by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." Philippians 4:6

The Lord wants us to pray.

Over and again throughout His Word He tells us that we will find Him when we seek Him with all of our hearts. Are you hitting a wall spiritually right now? Pray. Are you worried? Pray. Are you lonely, despairing, confused or conflicted? Pray.

In First Thessalonians, Paul tells us to "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing." (1 Thessalonians 5:17) We rejoice because we pray. We pray because we rejoice.

Paul says to pray always. To never ever stop. So, I shouldn't just be praying when I need something, but I should be praying all the dang time.

Praying without ceasing means to be in constant conversation with the Lord. It means that the thoughts in my head, the running to do list, the never ending stream of consciousness, is supposed to be in communion with Him, not just me all up in my own feelings. It means that every single idea, big, small, and in between, should be in and a part of Him - not because I've 'run it by Him' but because it's been thought out with Him.

And this is difficult because it takes time and intentionality. It takes the work of both the mind and the heart. It's not just that I love God, but it's that I seek Him. It's not just that I seek Him, but that I love Him.

I need to do better.

I want to do better.

I have to do better.

So let me ask you, what is your prayer life like? Are you praying without ceasing or are you throwing up prayers every so often like I have been? Let's make an effort to do it better this week, to really give our all to having conversations with the Lord and trusting in Him to do it.


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