"In Jesus Name" - Day 9

Without Ceasing

Have you ever witnessed a bouncing toddler full of energy and enthusiasm who won’t stop talking? They just keep asking question after question. “What does this do?” “What do you think about this?” “How much longer?” “Are you watching me?” Toddlers constantly talk to their parents throughout the day and ask them all kinds of questions. Not just about the things they need, about everything!
Jesus modeled this attitude for us through prayer. He showed us that prayer is a constant, continual, ongoing relationship with the Father. Prayer is a lifestyle. Like a child, we should consult our Father all day long. He wants to know how we’re doing, what’s going on and what we need. And even though a parent might sometimes get frustrated by their toddler’s incessant questions, our heavenly Father never grows weary of our company.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NIV), Paul instructs us to, “pray continually.” The New King James Version says to, “pray without ceasing,” and the New Living Translation words it as, “never stop praying.” If we think of prayer as a specific activity that only happens at church or before meals, this command is impossible to keep. Who could possibly kneel and request God’s help for 24 hours a day? But if, like Jesus, we realize that prayer is more about an ongoing relationship, then suddenly, every moment of life carries the potential of revelatory communication with God. Should we set daily prayer times? Certainly! Jesus Himself went away to pray in the mornings (Mark 1:35). But we can’t solely limit prayer to those set times; we have to continually be walking in communication with God.
Jesus took each and every part of His life and set it before God in prayer. He thanked God (Matthew 11:25). He praised God (Luke 11:2). He asked God for direction (Luke 6:12–15). Luke 9:28–29 shows us that Jesus became refreshed and renewed by communing with His Father. Even when He felt abandoned on the cross, He cried out to God in His pain (Matthew 27:46). Every moment—good or bad—became a part of His prayer life, and this lifestyle strengthened Him to do what God had called Him to do. That same strength is available to us.
No wonder Paul said to pray continually! Every moment and every emotion is an opportunity for prayer. Prayer is more than just an action; it’s who we are. At all places and all times, we can walk in relationship with God. There’s never a bad time to pray!
I never pray for more than twenty minutes at a time ... but I never go more than twenty minutes without praying. ~ Smith Wigglesworth

Prayer

Father, thank You for giving me Your Son, a perfect example of how to enter into Your presence and to commune with You at all times. I ask You to direct and guide me as I journey with You in a lifestyle of prayer. I want prayer to be who I am. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Activation

  • Read through the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), especially the words spoken by Jesus (which may be written in red in your Bible). Notice the different situations and places in which Jesus prayed.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to direct and redirect your lifestyle of prayer so that you are constantly in relationship with Him.

Memory Verse

O Lord, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for I pray to no one but you. Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:1–3 (NLT)

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