Pray without ceasing. — 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Pray without ceasing… Really? Pray without ceasing? What do those three, simple, profound words mean? It can’t mean to never stop speaking to God because we have to sleep, right? How then, do we follow this command from God?
The apostle Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica while he was most likely in Corinth. His exhorted them to grow in their faith and live within God’s will (in ways that please God) —
Rejoice always (1 Thessalonians 5:16)
Give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Sandwiched in the middle of those verses is pray without ceasing.
Prayer is an invitation we’re to take very seriously.
- in the good times
- through terrible seasons
- with thanksgiving
- in petition
- seeking His presence
- needing His guidance
- in lament
- in confession
- with worship
- all throughout our normal day activities
Praying without ceasing includes keeping a constant connection with God, a running conversation. We text with our close friends/family all day long, don’t we? We send memes and videos and check in, “How are you doing?” and “What should we do this weekend?” God is eager for that same kind of friendship and love!
Start first thing with something like, “Good morning, Jesus. I’m following You today. I want to hang out with You, hear from You, and do life with You.” Then, keep communicating! Remember that Father Abraham was called a friend of God (2 Chronicles 20:7, Isaiah 41:8). Moses was God’s friend (Exodus 33:11a). They walked with God, obeyed Him, and kept in constant contact. We can build that same kind of friendship and talk with God (and listen) about every facet of our lives.
Here are some recommended titles on to strengthen your prayer life, Bible studies on prayer, and journals to help you grow in prayer.
Books on Prayer
Breath as Prayer by Jennifer Tucker
Start with Prayer by Max Lucado
Pray Until Something Happens by Jurgen Matthesius
When You Don't Know What to Pray by Charles Stanley
The Prayer That Turns the World Upside Down by Albert Mohler
Battle Prayers by Michael J. Klassen and Thomas M. Freiling
Praying God's Will for Your Life by Stormie Omartian
Quiet Prayer by Marie Chapian
Why I Am Still Surprised by the Voice of God by Jack Deere
Praying the Names of God for 52 Weeks by Ann Spangler
Jodie Berndt titles
Praying the Scriptures for Your Life
Praying the Scriptures for Your Children
Praying the Scriptures for Your Teens
Praying the Scriptures for Your Adult Children
Praying the Scriptures for Your Marriage
Prayer Bible studies
Before Amen by Max Lucado
The Daniel Prayer by Anne Graham Lotz
The 28-Day Prayer Journey by Chrystal Evans Hurst
Life-Changing Prayer by Jim Cymbala