Ever feel like you are too busy to pray? Ever feel like a failure at prayer? Yeah, I know.
Welcome, if you've stopped by after reading my devotion on this published today. Follow that link to read it if you missed it. Then feel free to leave a prayer request in the comments on this post. You know that I will pray for you. In fact, I already have prayed for each person that pauses here today.
In the devotion I talked about one of the realizations that makes the Christan's call to prayer less guilt-producing for me - less like a chore I forget to do or don't do well enough. It's the fact that I don't have to set aside large blocks of time to pray to be effective in prayer.
I can pray without ceasing as the biblical phrase goes.
What does that mean? I can pray as I go.
Here's my take on it, heavily influenced by John Piper.
What does it mean to pray without ceasing?
1) It means that there is a spirit of dependence that should permeate all we do. So, even when we are not speaking consciously to God, there is a deep, abiding dependence on him that is woven into the heart of faith. In that sense, we "pray" or have the spirit of prayer continuously.
2) Praying without ceasing means praying often. The word for "without ceasing" is "adialeiptos" and it is used other places like like Romans 1:9 when Paul said he prays for the Romans unceasingly. Surely Paul did not mention the Romans every minute of his prayers. Surely he prayed about other things. So "without ceasing" doesn't mean that verbally or mentally we have to be speaking prayers every minute of the day, but that we should pray often.
Again, not necessarily for a singular long period of time, but often throughout the day.
3) I also think praying without ceasing means not giving up on prayer. We should persevere in our prayers. Don't get to a point in your life where you cease to pray at all. Don't abandon the God of hope for whom anything is possible!
One of the fascinating things author John Piper has said is, "The key to delight is prayer. Or, more accurately, the key to delight is God's omnipotent, transforming grace laid hold on by prayer."
So, I'd be delighted to pray for you today.