October 18, 2022
The Power of Praying Continually
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV).
Friend to Friend
Three ministers were talking about prayer and the most effective positions for prayer. As they were talking, a telephone repairman worked silently in the background.
One minister shared that he felt the key to powerful prayer was all in the hands. “I always hold my hands together and point them upward as a sign of worship,” he explained.
The second minister suggested that real prayer should always be conducted on the knees.
The third minister shook his head and said, “I’m afraid you both have it wrong. The only position worth its salt is to pray while stretched out flat on your face.”
As the three ministers solemnly contemplated the wisdom they had shared, the phone man put down his tools, approached the ministers and said, “I’ve been listening to you and just have to share something. I have found that the most powerful prayer I ever prayed was while I was dangling upside down by my heels from a power pole suspended forty feet above the ground.”
We try to make prayer complicated, but it really isn’t. Prayer is simply a conversation with God. And like the telephone repairman, our helplessness is our most powerful prayer. God listens for the voice of our need.
Prayer isn't a religious exercise. Prayer is the declaration of our total dependence on God. When we pray, we are telling God we are desperate for Him. We are saying, “yes” to whatever the minute, day, or future holds … even before we know what that may be.
We need to pray continually! Paul says we are to pray “without ceasing.”
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV).
We don’t have to drop to our knees or close our eyes to pray. Prayer is the continual conversation between our heart and the heart of God … all day long. Below are some simple ways to incorporate prayer into your daily routine.
Walk, run, stretch, or cycle while you pray. Pray for the people in your neighborhood as you pass each house.
Sometimes we are too busy talking to hear what God has to say. Don’t let prayer become one-sided. Set aside time each day to clear your mind of all distractions, sit in God's presence, and just listen for God’s voice.
Recruit a prayer partner. Whether in person, on the telephone, or online, the power of prayer can be multiplied when people come together.
Be a Child
What questions did you ask God when you were a child? If your prayer life feels stuck now, approach it as a child - with wonder, simple questions, trust, and even humor.
Practice Driving Prayer
Turn your time behind the wheel into prayer time. Ask God to guide your steps. As He brings people to mind, pray for them.
Native Americans have a saying: "Never let a day go by without touching the earth with your foot." Take a short break for a slow prayerful walk. Nature tunes us into God's presence.
Change Your Routine
If your prayer time is sandwiched between dinner and bedtime or homework and hobbies, rearrange your schedule so that prayer is the priority. The more important prayer is to us, and the more attention we give it, the stronger our relationship with God will grow.
Prayer should be our first response to any situation … not our last resort. It should be as natural as breathing. We should pray non-stop, especially for each other.
When you are in need, ask for prayer.
And when someone asks you to pray for them – pray.
Pray with them over the phone. Stop in the middle of the store or sidewalk and pray. Pray with your children on the way to school. Write a note of prayer. Ask your waiter or waitress how you can pray for them.
Make prayer a natural and ongoing part of your day and life.
Father, I confess that instead of praying, I try to work things out on my own. I turn to so many places when I should turn to You. Teach me to pray, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What is your biggest obstacle to a powerful prayer life? What step can you take to make prayer a priority?
More from the Girlfriends
If you need help learning how to pray, check out Dan Southerland’s book, Chair Time, a simple but life-changing approach to prayer.
Mary is coaching women in ministry and women needing encouragement! Check it out at Friends for the Journey Coaching. Don’t miss the special introductory prices now available!
Be sure to connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.
© 2022 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved.
Originally published Tuesday, 18 October 2022.