Saturday, April 23, 2016

Pray Without Ceasing

Does that sound easy? There are times seems not, until we pause to think. I remember over 30 years ago listening to a motivational speaker telling about being late to a very important meeting where she would interview a Japanese gentlemen who had a very busy schedule. She began to think about what would be the worst thing that could happen – she would be fired.

But, that wasn’t the worst thing that could happen in her life.

As she entered the company parking lot, she yelled out the window with a smile that her husband and children were just fine. Losing one of them would have been much worse than losing the job she applied for and accepted.

That is exactly what we should be doing as Christians:

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (Ephesians 5:19-20 KJV)

Do you believe a misled Jew wrote those words, or were they inspired by God to show us how our relationship with Him can be? I believe He loves us enough to provide guidance. Then we can give thanks always – even in a hospital emergency room Tuesday eveining with your spouse having chest pains.

Yes, we can give thanks that there is good treatments. good facilities, excellent doctors and nurses, a triage process that cuts down on waiting. Pause to think about what it was like in previous decades, centuries, and thank God for what is available now.

That’s a good process, you know – pause, listen, think, respond - to use with others. Can we be grateful for all the people that are in our life? Come one, truthfully, didn’t you think of one person as you thought? I came up with a couple – and the idea of asking God to let me know why they are in my life.  For my good, or theirs?

That’s a part of prayer, too. We are told to pray without ceasing. It’s in one verse, and not hard to understand. In fact, it would appear I was repeating:

Pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV)

A nice standalone sentence that fits right in with the rest of the advice:

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly,
comfort the feebleminded,
support the weak,
be patient toward all men.
See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
Rejoice evermore.
Pray without ceasing.
In every thing give thanks:
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Quench not the Spirit.
Despise not prophesyings.
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

Abstain from all appearance of evil. 

(1 Thessalonians 5:14-22 KJV)

Do you know that if we do all of that, all of our lives, we still are not “good enough” to stand before God as His child? Yes, He asks that we do what He wants, but He does have a requirement in reaching Him that many will not accept.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6 KJV)

John 3:16-18 says it even better. Excuse me? I’m called judgmental? I’m condemning? Please read the chapter. God makes the judgment, I don’t. I study His word, looking to see how what He said affected others. I see those who accept as well as those who reject. I prefer believing, but I can never, ever, convince someone else. It’s not my job.

Nope, mine is to encourage the reading of His word and allow others to make up their own minds. To help me – and them – I find it much better to pray without ceasing.

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Thank you for taking time to read and comment on the blog. Comments should take into consideration this verse: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8 KJV)