Young woman thinking

What Does It Mean to “Pray Continually”?

What did the apostle Paul mean by “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)? How is it possible to carry on with normal life if we do so?

First, the apostle did not mean that we should walk around all day mumbling to God. Rather, he taught that we can live in a constant attitude of intercession, even as we go about our daily routines. Of course, some days we’ll pray much more than others. But regardless of the particular items on our “to do” list, we can maintain a natural, ongoing conversation with the Lord that encompasses our whole lives.

Should you pray about insignificant or mundane matters? Yes! God listens to every prayer. Since He is interested in every aspect of your life, He invites you to talk to Him about whatever concerns, interests, confuses, frightens, challenges or in any way touches your life. You should ask Him to help you with the small things like finding lost glasses or retrieving forgotten information. It is through such requests you learn that God is your gracious heavenly Father and you are his much-loved child.

Outsiders may consider such complete trust in the Lord foolhardy, but so what? Only through prayer can we tap into his limitless resources. Only by seeking Him can we test His promise: “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:14). Too often we limit our praying precisely because we do not cast ourselves wholeheartedly on His grace and mercy.

God has called us to be people of prayer, and regular communication creates intimate fellowship with our Savior. Through our time with Him, we discover His goodness, faithfulness and wonderful direction for our lives. We also find the strength and wisdom for every turn on our paths so we can experience all He has created us for. When we develop a prayerful outlook, eventually our communication with the Lord becomes our first instinct in every situation — not only when we face a challenge or encounter a difficulty. And in time, it will never occur to us not to pray.

Article drawn from The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible, 2nd Edition, NIV

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