Praying Continually

Praying Continually

Quiet and tender closeness with God

To pray continually is to reorient from task to presence, leaning into a quiet and tender closeness with God. It is less about constant communication than about abiding presence.

Be joyful always. Pray without ceasing … (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17)

Put simply, prayer is a conversation with God. It is also so much more than that: it’s a connection to the very one who breathed life into us. If we want to know who God is and the secrets to life that only He has, we must learn to pray without ceasing.

“Pray without ceasing?” That seems a bit extreme, doesn’t it? Followers of Christ have asked what such a command might mean for centuries.

SCRIPTURE SAYS

  • One day, Jesus told His disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. (Luke 18:1)
  • Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am calling on You constantly. (Psalm 86:3)
  • Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in payer. (Romans 12:12)
  • Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion … (Ephesians 6:18)
  • Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6)
  • Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (Colossians 4:2)
  • Be joyful always. Pray without ceasing … (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17
  • Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath! (Psalm 116:2)

To pray continually is to reorient from task to presence, leaning into a quiet and tender closeness with God. It is less about constant communication than about God’s abiding presence. Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually. (I Chronicles 16:11)

 

WHAT DOES PRAYING CONTINUALLY LOOK LIKE PRACTICALLY?

According to John Piper, “… there is a spirit of dependence that should permeate all we do. This is the very spirit and essence of prayer. So, even when we are not speaking consciously to God, there is a deep, abiding dependence on him woven into the heart of faith. In that sense, we ‘pray’ or have the spirit of prayer continuously.”

“When life gets challenging, when grief starts nipping at my heels, when there has been too much emotion for too many days, my coping strategy is to step outside. Though I don’t pray with words at those times, my heart longs for God’s presence. I sometimes wonder if God simply delights in us when we delight in His creation, if it fills His heart when we come with no agenda, questions, doubts, or frustrations, not wanting or needing anything beyond His presence.” (Cindee Snider Re)

Dr. Melinda Quivik offers a beautifully simple definition of prayer beyond words: “Prayer is recognizing that daily life is ennobled and made gracious when we place ourselves in God’s hands.”

 

HOW TO PRAY CONTINUALLY

  1. Pray when you wake. Use your first waking moments to connect with God and set the tone for a new day. “Pray without ceasing, say all you can to God, and lay all your difficulties before Him. He’ll take away your tears and make a way where there seems to be none. Wake up and do it!” (Israelmore Ayivor)
  2. Pray as you brush your teeth. Pray the words of Psalm 19:14: May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.
  3. Pray when you eat. Thank God for nourishing your soul as you nourish your body.
  4. Pray as you clean. As you dust, vacuum, or organize, thank God for the gift of a safe place to live.
  5. Pray while giving thanks. Thank God for the gifts all around you – another day, your home, pets, loved ones, friends, food, water, electricity, heat, His Word, your doctors, your church. Not sure where to start? Close your eyes. When you open them, thank God for the first five things you see.
  6. Pray as you move. Use the time you spend walking, climbing stairs, or exercising to pray for those in need. Discover some fun “how-to” tips about movement and prayer in our #StepRepPray printable.
  7. Pray as you drive. Pray as you wait at a traffic light, for a train, or in the carpool line.
  8. Pray through your day. Pray as you fold the laundry, wash the dishes, make the bed, answer emails, pay the bills, prepare meals, take your meds, or empty the trash.
  9. Pray as you wait. Pray while you wait in line at the grocery store or drive-thru; pray for the cashier or those in line behind you.
  10. Pray as you fall asleep. Thank God for the day, your bed, a soft pillow, and a sound night’s sleep.

Every chance you get, talk to God. Ask Him for guidance, and He will lead you. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

A PLACE TO CONTINUE: MAINTAINING AN ATTITUDE OF PRAYER

When we read I Thessalonians 5:17 (Pray continually.), we can take comfort that this statement does not stand alone. As we read the entire sentence (Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.), we realize that praying without ceasing is but one part of the picture of our lives, showing us living in faithful communication with God. We are also encouraged to rejoice always and give thanks.

REJOICE ALWAYS

These words are a command, a command in the present tense, meaning to “keep on rejoicing.” An act of the will does not accomplish obedience to this command – it is only accomplished by faith in Christ. Religious people rejoice sometimes, pray when they feel like it, and give thanks when things are going well. Christians, however, are called to rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and give thanks in all circumstances. This is not the believer’s response because they are impervious to life’s dangers, toils, and snares. It is their response to life because they are in Christ Jesus. (H.B. Charles, Jr.)

GIVE THANKS IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES

It is easy to be thankful in abundance – to be thankful when things are going well, when we have enough food to eat, a lot of friends around us, and when we get to do things we enjoy. This gets gratitude backward. When we are thankful for hard things, challenges, and things that seem far too small to meet our needs, this stretches, changes, and fills us. So, when we face hard things, let’s try to be thankful first.  We know God is in charge, so we can trust Him to work His plan. Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful (Colossians 4:2).

 

A PLACE OF FELLOWSHIP AND DELIGHT

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.  God desires to abide with us, to be in quiet and tender closeness with us, to grant us His presence, and to rejoice over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). Let’s enter His presence with great delight, faithful prayer, and abundant gratitude!

 

FREE PRINTABLES

Discovering Gratitude

Gratefulness is choosing to focus on God rather than our circumstances. Fixing our eyes on Jesus reminds us of His gracious, compassionate love and unending faithfulness.

10 Ways to Pray Continually

Put simply, prayer is a conversation with God. It is also so much more than that: it’s a connection to the very one who breathed life into us. If we want to know who God is and the secrets to life that only He has, we must learn to pray without ceasing.

Prayer is...

Make Your Life a Prayer

Make Your Life a Prayer supplies Scripture verses and quotes inviting you to step into God's compassionate and tender-hearted presence.

BOOKS We Love • Praying Continually

100 Names of God

Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God

Timothy Keller

In their churches and schools, Christians are taught that prayer is the most powerful way to experience God, but few receive instruction or guidance on how to make prayer genuinely meaningful. In Prayer, renowned pastor Timothy Keller delves into the many facets of this everyday act.

Buy from Amazon

100 Names of God

Every Moment Holy, Volume 1

 Douglas Kaine McKelvey

Every Moment Holy is a book of liturgies for the ordinary events of daily life — liturgies such as "A Liturgy for Feasting with Friends," "A Liturgy for Laundering," or "A Liturgy for the First Hearthfire of the Season." These are ways of reminding us that our lives are shot through with sacred purpose even when – especially when – we are too busy or too caught up in our busyness to notice.

Buy from Amazon

Jesus is the Question: The 307 Questions Jesus Asked and the 3 He Answered

The Only Necessary Thing: Living a Prayerful Life

Henri J.M. Nouwen

For Nouwen, a life of faith is a life of prayer. Drawn from many decades of his life, this compilation of Henri’s thoughts, feelings, and his struggle with prayer reveal the core of the man and his belief that prayer is the only necessary thing.

Buy from Amazon

100 Names of God

Pearls of Great Price: 366 Daily Devotional Readings

Joni Eareckson Tada

Joni Eareckson Tada wants to help you become rich in faith and wealthy in hope. Some people focus on material treasures, but Joni reminds you that life’s true gems (priceless pearls that are worth everything to purchase and own) come from God. Pearls of Great Price follows the helpful tradition of Diamonds in the Dust and More Precious Than Silver.

Buy from Amazon

The Amazon buttons are affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Chronic Joy will receive an affiliate commission.

Even More

Pin It on Pinterest

Skip to content