Persistent Prayer

“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

The Apostle Paul is telling the Thessalonians that they are to pray without ceasing. I realize that we all have our lives to live and that alone requires a measure of our time. Some of us have jobs that we must do to earn our way through this world. Others of us are homemakers and spend a large amount of this maintaining the home and raising the children. As we go through our day preforming these tasks we find it hard to go to our knees and devote our full attention to our Lord and Savior. So I am not advocating that we are to live as the monks at Trappist Abbey. There the monks are called contemplatives and devote themselves to prayer in seclusion and silence.

For me there is a special time each day, usually at the beginning of the day, to be devoted to my quite time on the stoop in prayer with my God. Once again at the evening of the day before I retire for the night. This is the most valuable times of my day where it is just my God and I where I talk and He listens and where I listen and He speaks. It is a time when I share the Scripture I have read and in turn He brings it to life and reveals His truths to my mind. The Prophet Daniel prayed three times daily like this and God used him in a mighty way. I admit that I cannot pull that third time off as my day fills with the duties of the day. (Daniel 6:10)

How then do we meet the measure of Paul’s entreaty? Prayer like everything we do is a discipline that we must learn and commit to. I have my morning and evening quite time dedicated but what about the rest of the day. Are we to just forget about the fellowship of God in between the AM and PM? Paul tells us that in all things we do we are to do them in the name of the Lord Jesus. “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” (Colossians 3:17) If all that we do is to be in the name of Jesus then we surly need His blessing and guidance. If prayer is a conversation with God then we should include Him in with all that we are doing. What better guide through the pitfalls of this life than the Son of God. Solomon provides an answer for us in his book of Proverbs, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:6)

If prayer is a conversation with God, then we must remember there are two sides to a conversation, speaking and listening. Our prayers will be of a greater blessing to us if we pray back the Words of God. By doing this we will be drawn closer to Him by His revealing His truths to us in prayer. His Word is the power of the universe. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)

By praying back His Word in our prayers our conversations with God will become more powerful. Also praying back His Scripture to Him will increase our spiritual growth dynamically. By Claiming the promises of God in our prayers will take the stress out of our lives as we have turned our situations over to Him. God’s promises in the Scriptures are numerous but I have listed ten that are wonderful for us to meditate upon and a great source of spiritual motivation.

  1. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)
  2. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
  3. “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” (Luke 11:13)
  4. “This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life.” (1 John 2:25)
  5. “But He said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)
  6. “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
  7. “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
  8. “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)
  9. “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:2-3)
  10. “And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

My mother kept a prayer list so she could be sure to give God the glory when He answered her prayers. God answers our prayers that His name may be glorified. It is important to praise and acknowledge Him for the great things He has done for us in our lives and the lives of others. The most selfless thing we can do for others is to pray for them. It binds us together in the bonds of Christian love. Paul urges us with this words to Timothy. “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

I know the difficulties of developing a prayer life. There have been times that I have felt that my prayers have reached no further that the ceiling of my room, only to have a prayer answered. Prayer is not something that we can always see with our eyes or hear with our ears. Prayer is a work of faith in believing that God is there, that He loves us, and that He is faithful and true to answer our concerns. The more we commit ourselves to prayer the more we find ourselves in prayer with our Heavenly Father. God desires our fellowship and we can go boldly to the throne of His grace and share our life with Him. “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

Pleasant Manor, October 22, 2016

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