Posted On: November 6, 2015 • Author: Pastor David Bousquet • Category: Articles
Thomas Jackson was asked about I Thessalonians 5:17 which commands the believer to pray without ceasing. His response was that he could no more forget to pray than he could forget to eat when hungry or to drink when thirsty. He also stated that to pray without ceasing results in taking advantage of each opportunity as a chance to commune with Almighty God. He said that he would pray for the intended recipient of a letter that the letter would be a blessing, he would pray for the safety of the postman who would face the inclement weather to deliver the letter, he would pray for the cadets as he passed them in review, and he would pray for his fellow teachers that they would instruct in more than just their classes.
What a wonderful way to illustrate the concept of continual prayer. We are called to be in constant fellowship with our Heavenly Father, and to routinely praise Him throughout our day. This verse is sandwiched in between of two others, which reveal the substance of our prayers. First, verse 16 says that we are to rejoice evermore. Rejoicing is to be the constant theme of our lives. James 1 points out that we are to rejoice when we face temptations, for through them we are able to grow in our faith. We should rejoice always for it is in the crucible of suffering that we are formed into the holiness of Christ. Second, we are told in verse 18 to give thanks in everything for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for us. When we experience pain, give thanks. When we argue with our spouse, give thanks. When we receive a raise at work, give thanks. When we are picking up spilled coffee, give thanks. In everything give thanks. This requires us to recognize that everything that God allows in our life is meant to be an opportunity for us to worship Him as well as an opportunity to become more like Him.
If we would practice these two elements, then continuous prayer would become a reality. We would be in constant communication with the Father, seeking His favor for others, and seeking His help to face situations in a way that is glorifying to Him.