Pray Continually

 

Pray Continually

TENDER CLOSENESS WITH GOD

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

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

For centuries, followers of Christ have asked what it means to pray continually. 

SCRIPTURE SAYS:

 

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

 

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 that is 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, what my heart longs for is God’s Presence. I wonder sometimes if God simply delights in us when we delight in His creation, if it fills His heart when we come with no agenda or questions or doubts or frustrations, not wanting or needing anything, beyond His Presence.

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

 

A PLACE TO BEGIN

PRAY

 

  1. When you wake. Use your first waking moments to connect with God and set the tone for a new day.
  2. 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. When you eat. Thank God for nourishing your soul as you nourish your body.
  4. As you clean. As you dust, vacuum, or organize, thank God for the gift of a safe place to live.
  5. 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. As you move. Use the time you walk or climb the stairs or exercise to pray for those in need. Need a few fun tips? Learn more about movement and prayer – #StepRepPray
  7. As you drive. Pray as you wait at a traffic light or for a train or in the carpool line.
  8. Through your day. Pray as you fold the laundry, wash the dishes, make the bed, answer email, pay the bills, prepare meals, take your meds, or empty the trash.
  9. 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. As you fall asleep. Thank God for the day, for your bed, for a soft pillow, for a sound night’s sleep.

Prayer

Whether we realize it or not, prayer is the encounter of God's thirst with ours. God thirsts that we may thirst for him. St. Augustine

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