OCTOBER 28: Your Mission…Should You Choose To Accept It PART 1 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Thessalonians 5:16-18 “16 Rejoice always, 17 Pray Continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.
To pray “without ceasing” means staying in communion with the Lord. It’s like having a phone connection open 24 hours a day so you don’t have to punch numbers. You just start talking.
If prayer is viewed broadly, then our life itself ought to be a prayer offered to the Lord.
We are to pray…Consciously, Deliberately, Repeatedly, Persistently, as we face each new challenge of the day. When we invite God into our daily agenda, there is peace and a sense of knowing that the sovereign Lord is guiding us and helping us along the way.
When we Invite, by prayer, for God to be in the Middle of each thing we do…It becomes an Act of Worship…And that God Will Always Bless.
Remember…The world is in a constant state of Rebellion against God, but the Christian has been called to a life of “Unending Worship”. From the time we wake up in the morning to the time we go to sleep and even when we are asleep, we are called to praise the Father.
We were created to Glorify His name. Our entire lives should be centered on worshipping His precious name. Key: If You Don’t Worship God in Private You Will Never Truly Worship Him in Public!
To “pray without ceasing,” does not mean that we have to be on our knees with our hands in a certain position and our eyes closed. To ‘Pray without Ceasing, basically means to be God-Conscious and See Everything in Reference to Him.
Unceasing prayer is Unceasing Communion with God!
Unceasing Prayer is to see something happen and relate it to God. “Unceasing prayer refers more to prayer as an attitude and not just to prayer as an activity.”
I Strongly Believe that Praying Without Ceasing it to Invite God to Direct, Intervene, and Lead in Everything that I do, whether it is for Him, for Others or for anything that He places in My Hands to Accomplish!
John MacArthur Compares Prayer to Breathing. I agree, Prayer should occur throughout our entire day and be so ingrained in our being that we continually pray without even realizing it.
- We inhale and exhale the presence of God through prayer, and when we fail to pray, we do not receive the oxygen of His life in Our Lives.
Prayer Sustains Us and Prayer Changes Us as it Connects Us to God.
KEY: “Desire is the Essence of Prayer!” In fact, desire is the Kernel of Prayer.
The vocal expressions which we call by the name of prayer are often but its shell—inward desire is the life, the heart, the reality of prayer! You cannot always be speaking in prayer. But, you can always be desiring in prayer.
Speaking about this aspect of prayer, Spurgeon said, the miser is always desiring riches, though he is not always talking about his gold and silver. And the man who loves his fellow men and desires their profit is really always praying for their benefit, though he is not always lifting up his voice in supplication”
To “pray without ceasing” does not always require an audible voice. Our deepest prayers can come from within when no words can be expressed. On other occasions when our voices are raised in prayer, our hearts remain silent. It is possible to speak with our lips to God but not be in prayer.
What about the times that we don’t have any words to pray? You know…Those times that You are just uncertain or in deep pain, and didn’t know What or How to Pray.
Romans 8:26 says, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”
- The Spirit is there to guide us and speak for us when we cannot.
The working out of our prayers is a continuation of our prayers. Example: I Pray that this sermon is faithful to God’s word, but I will also study in order to achieve this. When we begin to work that which we pray for, we have not left a state of prayer but have entered a new stage of it.
- God is like a ship’s rudder. When we pray, in Faith, He Guides us!
We must also understand our condition in order to “pray without ceasing.”
- Without God we wouldn’t exist and without His grace we would be His enemies.
Many of us do not pray without ceasing because we do not feel that we have great need. Understanding Our Great Need Leads Us to Great Prayer.
Realizing that we are in constant need because we can do absolutely nothing without God will give us both the desire to pray without ceasing and the knowledge that we need to do so.
We must also guard against the idea that once we have gained much we no longer need prayer. In understanding our condition, we also understand the nature of prayer. When talking about the nature of prayer, I mean, that prayer is a gift from God.
KEY: Paul is not only commanding us to “pray without ceasing,” but he is also saying that God allows us to pray without ceasing.
Here’s What I want Us All to Understand: This means that God is Constantly Listening as We Constantly Pray. AND…God does not say that He will only listen to prayers at certain times but that He is always listening. Praying with No End Implies that God Listens to No End.
FINAL THOUGHT: Prayer is found between rejoicing and thanksgiving. “The way to rejoice evermore is to PRAY WITHOUT CEASING. We Will Rejoice More as We Pray More!”
Prayer reminds us of the wonderful things God has done for us, which brings forth a sense of thanksgiving and rejoicing.
“The reality is, My Prayers Don’t Change God. But, I am Convinced Prayer Changes Me. Praying Boldly Boots Me out of that Stale Place of Religious Habit into “Authentic Connection with God Himself.” –Lysa TerKeurst