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Pray without Ceasing

Pray without Ceasing

AUGUST  14,  2019    |    2.5  MINUTE  READ    |    JOSH AND KELLY HALLAHAN


“Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV

What a challenging command! It’s easy to wonder how one could possibly pray without ever stopping. If it seems like such a difficult command, why would the apostle Paul tell us to do so? How are we to attempt to pray without ceasing?

Man kneeling in prayer

Why we pray without ceasing:

A lifestyle of prayer results in complete dependence on the Father. Since we are made in the image of God, we are supposed to walk with God; as we walk with Him we find He teaches us how to pray. Dr. Dennis Kinlaw stated, “As we open our hearts to God, He begins to share the burdens He carries.” Theologian John Piper says, “Even when we are not speaking consciously to God, there is a deep, abiding dependence on Him that is woven into the very essence of our faith. In that sense, we are praying.”

A lifestyle of prayer guides us in our Christian life. 1 Thessalonians 5 tells us, “respect those who labor among you and are over you” (verse 12), “Be at peace among yourselves” (verse 13), “help the weak” and “ be patient with them all” (verse 14). These behaviors flow out of a Christian life rooted in prayer.

A lifestyle of prayer is inspired by the Holy Spirit. God has called us to continuous prayer for our benefit. Unceasing prayer is the life of the mature, the way of the believer in Christ.

Woman praying

How we pray without ceasing:

  1. Abide in Christ. Seek to live in connection to the Lord—invite the Holy Spirit to examine your heart, be vulnerable with Him, and ask, how does He want to order your day? As you walk with Jesus, He will open your eyes and mind to new ideas and ways to pray for the world.
  2. Carve out time daily to connect with God. Stay connected to the true vine (John 15:4). Sharon Curtain writes, “Go deep with [God] in the moments of quiet focus, and this depth will make God real and weighty in the rest of the day. So, decide on a place and a time for this meeting with God in prayer.”
  3. Thanksgiving is key. Paul tells the Thessalonians to, “give thanks in all circumstances” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV). If you ever aren’t sure what to pray for or where to begin, thank God for the specific blessings He has poured into your life.
  4. Connect unceasing prayer to a specific daily task. When you wake up, begin the day by surrendering it to God. Pray for missionaries when you pour your coffee in the morning, or pray for members of your family as you sit down to eat.
  5. Worship while you wait. Much of life is spent waiting—stop lights, doctor’s offices, or an event that doesn’t start on time. Use these spare moments effectively by connecting with God.

Living a life of continuous prayer is a call to know God. It is a call to spend time with Him and to bring to Him the needs, victories, and joys of a life of praying without ceasing. In Him, the seemingly impossible is accomplished.

A group of people praying

Check out these resources for more ways to learn to pray without ceasing:

Prayer: Bearing the World as Jesus Did by Dr. Dennis Kinlaw

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp

Habit Pairing by Sharon Curtain

Prayer notebook app

Liturgy of the Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren

The Prayer of Faith by J.O. Fraser

Devote Yourselves to Prayer by John Piper


Author Bio: Josh and Kelly Hallahan live in Uganda with their four children and work with students at Heritage International School. You can follow them on their blog and on Facebook.

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