“Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Have you ever tried to pray without ceasing? I have. Our worship service and Sunday school class inspired me to do this – or at least to try. I woke up one Monday morning with the plan to pray without ceasing. I always pray while still in bed thanking God for the day. “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” This day I began a running dialogue with the Lord. I thanked him for the good sleep. I thanked him for our warm bed. I thanked him for comfortable clothing as I got dressed. I thanked him for running water as I washed my face.
Taking a shower: “Thank you for this shower and for hot running water. You never had this when you were on earth, did you?”
Looking out the window: “Thank you for this beautiful day. You made a beautiful world.”
Driving: “Thank you for the good transportation. Guide me and keep me safe as I drive. The sun and clouds are so beautiful. You created a beautiful world.”
Exercising: “Thank you for my body and for the ability to stretch, lift weights, and walk. Thank you Lord for the body you gave me. Thank you for my health. Heal me of my minor ailments.
Waking on the Treadmill: While walking I watched Gaither music videos – Christians singing His praises and I joined in with their praise. “Thank you Lord for strengthening me physically as well as spiritually.”
Eating: Saying Grace and singing the Doxology. “I’m so thankful for this delicious food and our abundance of healthy food.”
Free time: “Thank you for time to relax. Thank you for your presence with me. I worship you, Lord. You are the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. You are Good, You are Love. You are the LIGHT of the world.“
Talking to my husband: I think “Lord, I thank you for my sweet husband. Bless him. Guide our conversation.”
Irritation: “Father forgive me for my anger. Help me calm down.
Forgive me for this.”
Working on a project: “Guide me, Lord.”
Well, I kept this up for an hour or two. I do pray many times a day – but not without ceasing as Billy Graham does.
Yes, Billy Graham does pray without ceasing. Jerry Jenkins interviewed him in his book Writing for the Soul. Excerpt below:
Jenkins: “Tell me how you keep your own spiritual discipline.”
Graham’s eyes lit up. “There’s no secret to that, He said. God doesn’t hide the key from us. The Bible says to pray without ceasing and to search the Scriptures. And I do that.”
Jenkins: I flinched. I had always hoped the Apostle Paul’s New Testament admonition to “Pray without ceasing” was something figurative. After two or three minutes of prayer, my mind tends to wander and I find myself wondering whether the Cubs will ever see another World Series. (Talk about a miracle.)
Jenkins: “You pray without ceasing? I said.
“I do,” Mr. Graham said, still with that air of pure humility. “And I have, every waking moment since I received Christ as a teenager.”
He had to have seen the doubt on my face.
“I’m praying right now as I’m talking to you,” he said……
I was nearly speechless. “And you’re searching the Scripture,” I managed. “How does that work?”
“Wherever I am,” he said, at home, in my office, or in a hotel room in some other country, the first thing I do in the morning is to leave my Bible open somewhere where I will notice it during the day. I pick it up at odd moments and read a verse or two or a chapter or two or for an hour or two. And this is not for study or sermon preparation. This is just for my own spiritual nourishment.”
We’re all on a journey to sanctification in which we grow in knowing God more fully and sense his presence more often. Praying more and more (without ceasing) and reading the Word daily are practices that help us abide with him and live for him. To God be the glory.
“Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 The Message