How to Pray Without Ceasing

Well, the month of April is over, which means that the Warrior Prayers: 21 Days of Prayer for Sons is also over – boo! Oh…wait… I don’t have to stop? Yippee!

I loved the 21 Days of Prayer challenge. You probably already know by now that I am not a reflector by nature. It’s tough for me to sit and pray.

Don’t get me wrong, I love talking with my Father and worshiping Him and bringing requests to Him. I’m overwhelmed with prayer needs. But it’s a fight to make my body sit still. Let’s just say Samuel gets his little gotta-get-the-wiggles-out self from me!

I recently told a friend – Don’t try to get up early and pray.

Gasp!

Instead of trying to get up at 5am to pray, I think it might be more realistic to build prayer into your current daily rhythms. Because honestly, I don’t know many people who said – From now on, I shall get myself up at 5 to pray every day – and actually did it. Rather, let’s make our “prayer time” goal something that is actually doable.

For me, when I realized I was having quite a difficult time making time for prayer, Brad and I looked at our natural rhythms of the day and found a little block of time in the morning (after my usual wakeup time) when he can get Samuel milk and breakfast. I get to use that time to connect with my Father.

It’s not the only time I use to pray and worship, however.

Many of you, like me, have robust (i.e., busy) lives. Do you find yourself crying out to God throughout the day? Whether it’s for a simple prayer request, an urgent plea, or a bursting worship of our Lord?

That is part of praying without ceasing.

 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV)

I have not always been good at praying “continually.” When I’m working, I get very focused on what I’m doing, and my mind doesn’t cross to God very much. There are a couple of tools I’ve used that helped train my mind to focus on God more constantly:

  • a timer – our church-body participated in a Soul Revolution experiment that included setting a timer to go off every hour. When the timer went off, we were to take a moment to focus on God through prayer, worship, Bible reading, anything! My spiritual life was revitalized by this experiment!
  • Praying through Scripture – I have index cards that I write verses on, and I put the cards on a binder ring (like this one). I keep this ring at my desk, or wherever else I spend a lot of time to remind me to pray through these verses. Thanks to my friend Holly from Mom and Mom for helping me learn how to do this!

So back to the Warrior Prayers. The 21 Day challenge incorporated both of the above tools – pausing often throughout the day and praying through Scripture.

It was fantastic. Even on days when I didn’t put as much effort in, my mind was more focused on God, and my heart was closer to His spirit. There were a few times that the verses I was praying “for my son” convicted me of sin in my life. Because, of course, Scripture is also for me. And for you.

I encourage you to try something like this. Whether you’re part of a prayer challenge doesn’t matter (although Brooke will be hosting another 21 Days… in the future!), just put something in your day-to-day that helps you connect with God often. I’d love to hear how it challenges you! If you have other tips to add to this, post them in the comments below or on the Facebook page.

I do want to note that I think it’s important to try and find an uninterrupted time to read, meditate on Scripture, etc. The more time I spend with God, the more I crave Him. And this craving doesn’t always build up when I’m only giving short bursts to God.

However, that being said, I know how life goes, and you might be in a difficult season with health, family, or a myriad other issues where spending any time with God is a challenge. Rest assured that all time spent with Him is beneficial to your spiritual growth. So start small – start with a goal you know you can do – and watch your cravings take over!

2 thoughts on “How to Pray Without Ceasing

  1. Jane

    Stephanie – my secret weapon is visual cues – plaques, photos, mementos, souveniers. Anytime my eyes flick from my computer to pretty much any surface in my office, there’s reminder of something to thank God for or of someone I’ve committed to pray for. I’ll never have one of those intensely clean desks, but I’ve got a great prayer life.

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