A recent comment on another blog included a note that the writer couldn’t go to sleep by thinking about tomorrow’s activities – she’d be getting up and making a “To Do” list. That helps me understand that my thoughts are not alone. In fact, trying to stop them actually creates more and creates a conflict.
Why not put those constant thoughts into productive work? It worked for those who loved Peter:
Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. (Acts 12:5 KJV)
The next verses tell us of the angel that broke his bonds and Peter walked out of prison.
Paul believed in praying without ceasing, too:
For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; (Romans 1:9 KJV)
The next verse tells us that his prayer was to visit believers in Rome. He did, for many years, witnessing even to those in Caesar’s household.
He also wrote about giving thanks without ceasing that the word of God was received in truth and spirit:
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. (1 Thessalonians 2:13 KJV)
Paul also prayed without ceasing for Timothy:
I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; (2 Timothy 1:3 KJV)
I find it very easy to pray in the morning, when I get up. It’s wonderful to give thanks during the day for the gifts God provides, the opportunities that are given to share Him and to make requests as the day passes. It is, however, in the evening that I really go through my prayer list. At the close of the day, in bed, going over each name, thinking about the person, recalling specific requests.
There are some people on my list where there is a very short prayer for them: “May God’s will be done in their lives.” I don’t know what they need. They haven’t made a specific prayer request, as the others have. Yet, from their actions, their comments, it is apparent there is something they would like in their lives. And I love them enough through the love of Christ to include them in prayer.
So, I follow another of Paul’s writings:
Pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV)
Will you join me?