“. . . pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
When I was a child I couldn’t quite understand how one could pray all the time. How do I play with my friends and do my homework if I am supposed to always be praying? I wondered.
In recent years, however, I have seen how my life has become one big prayer. As I gulp my morning medications I say a quick prayer of thanksgiving that God has provided the medications, or that I am able to take them without an allergic reaction. I may ask Him to bless their purpose in proving some pain relief, or a plea that the side effects don’t occur.
Prayer continues throughout my day, whether it is asking for strength to do the dishes or praising Him for a parking spot. I pray for my son, my husband, and my extended family. As I shower I pray for my day and I often pray for all of you. If I have an errand to run, I am in a constant state of prayer on California freeways and I thank Him for my car.
Illness gives us many opportunities to pray. It can be for compassion to another who is hurting, a prayer for endurance, or a prayer to overcome the fear of a medical procedure. But I have found my illness has given me the blessing of understanding what a constant state of prayer is– far more than a healthy body ever could have.
Prayer is conversing with God. Surrendering, thanking, trusting, and yes, even crying. When I was a child I thought prayer required a bowed head and hands clasped together. This physical surrender has its blessing when we are able, but I believe God is more concerned about the state of our heart than the position of our body.
According to Charles Spurgeon, one of the meanings of this scripture is to “never abandon prayer.”
Talk to Him. Share. Pour it out. Thank. Ask. Praise.
Prayer: Lord, create in me a heart that needs to converse with you constantly. Help me put aside my preconceptions of what prayer “looks like” and instead, allow me to fully grasp how you intended our relationship to be. Amen.
About the author:
Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries and she lives in San Diego with her husband and son. She is gradually learning how to balance motherhood, family, illness, and ministry, but she still knows it will be a lifetime lesson. You can see the books she has written, including, Why Can’t I Make People Understand? at the Rest Ministries shop.
Do you feel like you pray without ceasing or is this an aspect of your relationship with God you would like to strive for? You can find more details about the meaning of this scripture from a 1872 sermon by Charles Spurgeon here.
Are you a worrier and too many prayers are questioning God’s plans? This upbeat song is a great reminder that we don’t need to worry but just “Pray About Everything.” The singer is Guy Penrod. -Lisa