The Journey: Unceasing Prayer

We continue our journey into our self-examination of our personal discipleship today by considering the concept of unceasing prayer.  Previously we have considered daily personal prayer, Bible reading that is done in a prayerful way, and last week we looked at formal Bible study.  All of these spiritual practices contribute to our relationship with our Lord, and you will recall that our thesis for this journey was that we can only share with others from our overflow of relationship with Jesus.  So, if there is no overflowing from our relationships, then we will have nothing of Him to share with those whom we are trying to disciple.929 112-LR

To pray unceasingly is a fairly advanced thing to do, for most of us are lucky to remember to set some time aside to pray at all.  While a quiet prayer time every day is essential to our relationship with the Lord, it is the beginning of the process, not the end of it.  As we continue through the day, there is nothing that keeps us from silently praying as go along.  I once heard that someone had asked their pastor if it was OK to smoke while praying.  As the story goes, the pastor replied that no, it was not all right to smoke while you pray, but it is all right to pray while you smoke.

Obviously, this is a dated story, but it tells of an attitude that is important to grasp: When we set time aside for God, we must give Him our full attention, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t talk to Him in other situations.  Talking silently to God as we walk down the street, drive to work or wait for the bus, asking questions, making requests and just giving thanks and praise are great ways to be filled with His presence, and it is a great way to keep our minds focused on things that are truly important. To help this along, I also like the idea of taking a few minutes in the middle of a day to read a short text, say from the Psalms, just to keep some focus.  This is particularly helpful if you have a stressful job, to relax and get your head straight again.  I have found that this helps me keep calm, relaxed and seeing things in proper perspective, rather than just letting stress turn to frustration and frustration turn to anger.

As you go through the next several days, give these things a try if you aren’t already doing them. Yes, it may feel a little bit strange at first, but develop the habit, and I think you’ll see your stress level drop and your priorities more in line with God’s priorities… and you may also find that your relationships with other people may be much better, for it is difficult to be irritated with someone when you are praising God!

Next Journey post will move into some of the expressive spiritual practices, so be sure to join us!

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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10 Responses to The Journey: Unceasing Prayer

  1. RG2Cents says:

    Reblogged this on RG's 2 Cents and commented:
    A Wonderful post about keeping our focus on God.

  2. nrichmyleads says:

    Agreed, unceasing prayer is advanced and perhaps , unless you are a full time minister of some gift ministry, not available. Some of us that have secular jobs, have jobs that we had best give our full attention to at least part of the time. I think a more reasonable goal would be continual prayer, that is praying when our minds are not otherwise intensely engaged. You used the word and rightly so, what it boils down to is priorities. Putting God and your prayerful relationship with him first will benefit you and result in you approaching that standard that the prayers of a righteous man availeth much. Praying in the spirit, that is, in tongues silently to yourself yields itself well to this as very little of your attention must be used. God provides the utterance, you just need to let it flow. And yes it is a matter of training yourself to give God permission to energize the process in your life by mentally checking every once in a while, what am I doing in my down time?
    Am I sharing with God what I am doing? Am I bringing my thoughts to the light of His word? If I feel uncomfortable including God in my activity, why am I doing it? As our heavenly Father, God wants the very best for us, if we think it is good, that it is profitable for us to make something a part of our lives why would we not be willing to share it freely with Him? When we were growing up and mastering new activities, did we not want to share the experience with mom and dad? The Christian life is a family activity.
    We are to work heartily as unto the Lord, If our job is doing something that cannot be motivated by our love, if it is not working with our hands the thing that is good, If our job does not benefit our customers, the ones to whom we offer our products or services to, why do we, who have repented of separating ourselves from God by premeditated sin, decide that it is something we need to do? All we are doing is losing the rewards in heaven that God is making available to us to earn and hold onto. The first one we disciple is us, then our actions speak loudly to the others that enter our lives, so that they ask for the reason that we are different. Our hope is the reason we are different. It is the Gospel. Selah.

  3. Pingback: “Spirituality and Prayer” by Rick Sanders | Frederick Cornwell Sanders's Notations

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  6. wsforchrist says:

    Looking forward to following your blog. I like what you have to say! I think it will help me and could help many, many people.

  7. I guess I jumped the gun when I was mentioning your comments about “Christ-centeredness!!” LOL! I do that sometimes brother!! But this is a perfect example of what you hinted at earlier. This is advanced to the sense that this truly starts to take place as you mature spiritually. I am not, as I’m sure you know, talking about age in the Lord, for we all develop spiritually in differing time frames. I have seen spiritual maturity take place in many who have served the Lord for only a few years and then I have not witnessed it in people who have been “serving” the Lord all their lifetime.

    When we surrender our life to the Will of the Lord, it is not a game, but it is the willingness to change our lifestyle to fit our Lord’s will. To some, they may not see the immediate rewards, but the eternal rewards of being in the embrace of our Redeemer will be more than worth what we might give up in this life. Bless you so much for all the inspiration Brother.

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