The Apostle Paul offers this bit of sound advice for the brethren at Thessalonica…

Pray without ceasing.

1 Thessalonians 5;17

At first glance it seems like a hard—if not impossible—task to accomplish. How can we possibly pray…without ever stopping our prayer? We have to cease at some point, right? We have to eat. We have to sleep. Surely Paul doesn’t mean we must have our heads bowed and eyes closed 24/7/365.

No, that’s not what he means. Paul simply means pray “all the time.” Pray “regularly.” Pray “frequently.” Pray “constantly.” Pray “religiously” (pun intended).

We should never look back on our lives and find a time where we didn’t regularly bring our petitions to God, our problems to God or our praise to God. We need to be in constant communication with our Father, and if we aren’t we’ll find it easy to slip away from Him back into the briar patch of the world.

I heard one preacher’s application of this verse many years ago, and it has always stayed with me. He suggested that we begin our day with prayer, but instead of saying “amen” and ending the talk with God, we simply rise and continue our day. Then, when something is on our mind, or when a need arises, we simply continue the prayer we began in the morning. We “keep the prayer open” in other words, chatting with God on and off throughout our day, and only saying “amen” when we pillow our heads at the close.

By doing that, we keep our mind in a state of “prayerfulness,” always ready to resume our conversation with the Almighty. It’ll be a lot harder to say a curse word when you’re in the middle of talking with God. It’ll be a lot harder to watch something you shouldn’t or go somewhere you shouldn’t if you’re in the middle of a conversation with God. It’ll be a lot easier to tell Him your worries, or ask for help, when you’re already in the midst of a discussion with Him.

Pray without ceasing; keep the prayer open.