Some days, prayer is the only thing that gets me through challenging circumstances or life’s tragic disappointments. Whether I am having an awesome day or a not-so-perfect day, I have come to realize that each day only gets better the more I pray. Because the more I talk to Jesus, the more my mind is focused on things above as opposed to things on this earth. The Bible says to set our sights on Heavenly things. When I pray, my mind is fixed on Jesus, our Lord and Savior. When I am not praying, my mind is scattered among the many tasks that must be completed each day. This is the reason why we need to not only pray before we sit down to eat, or before we go to bed at night, but throughout every minute of every day. I want to challenge you today to make it a daily priority to pray continually!
Paul gives sound advice when he writes to the church at Thessalonica. He writes, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (I Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV). Paul doesn’t say that we should pray once in a while. He doesn’t say we should pray when we get up or before we go to bed. He says that we should pray continually. Once again, he writes, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (Colossians 4:2 NIV). Paul is encouraging us to pray throughout our day, without stopping.
If you’re like me, your mind is suddenly aflutter with all of the things you have to get done. You’re thinking, how in the world can I possibly pray continually if I have to go to work, make dinner, wash the dishes, do the laundry, take your son or daughter to soccer practice, visit someone in the hospital, make cookies for your child’s class party tomorrow, take the cat to the vet, and shop for groceries. Not to mention the dentist appointment you forgot to reschedule because of the conflict with your other appointment to have your tires balanced and rotated on your new car, compounded by the fact that you desperately needed a haircut over a month ago. Needless to say, life is hectic and schedules are inevitably going to be busy.
Nonetheless, we can still pray continually. While it is wonderful to have time to kneel at the altar at church and cry out to God, or to spend time alone with God at home, we can still talk to Him throughout our day. I often find myself praying while washing dishes, driving down the road, or taking a shower. That’s the beauty of prayer. There is no set way to pray. Jesus gives us the Lord’s Prayer as a guideline, but we can talk to Him just like we would talk to our best friend. You know why? Because Jesus Christ is the best friend you will ever have. He loves you with a love that is unchanging, unconditional, and everlasting. He wants to hear your voice, whether you are asking Him to intervene in a particular situation or if you are praising Him for the good things He has done in your life. He longs to hear from you.
I want to introduce you to a man named Epaphras. Paul vouched for Epaphras, saying that he was a hard worker. But the most important thing Paul said about this man is that he knew how to pray. He writes, “Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured” (Colossians 4:12 NIV). Epaphras didn’t just pray. He wrestled in prayer. And he didn’t just do it whenever it struck his fancy. He did it always. Epaphras knew the value in praying continually and he was faithful in prayer, despite his busy work schedule and in spite of those who may have persecuted him for the time he spent in prayer. Why? Because he knew that prayer was the key to living a life in God’s perfect and divine will. Epaphras knew that the only way to be truly happy and content with his life was to be in tune with what God had called him to do.
What about you? Is there something in your life that is preventing you from praying continually? Perhaps you are facing a difficult time in your life with the loss of a loved one, a diagnosis of cancer in your family, or a son or daughter who has gone astray. I want to encourage you today. Jesus cares about you. Tell Him all of your cares. Pour out to Him all of your fears. Jesus told His disciples that they should always pray and never give up (Luke 18:1 NIV). He is telling you the same thing today. Do not give up. No matter what is going on in your life, there is hope in Christ. Take hold of Jesus’ hand and never let go. Talk to Him today, whether out loud or silently. Every day will seem brighter if you give your burdens to Jesus. So be sure to cast your worries aside, talk to Jesus daily, and stand amazed as He transforms your life! From sunrise to sunset, don’t let a minute slip by without praying continually!
In Christ’s Love,