Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pray Without Ceasing

Prayer is something that should be a big part of our lives, yet how often do we really pray? When something happens and it is beyond us? When we really, really,REALLY want something? When the bills are due and the money is not there? Someone is sick? Hurt? Dying?

The Bible tells us to pray. Prayer is not a crutch, but brings us in tune with the Almighty God. He promises strength, promises answers and commands us to call on Him.

I would like to share some things with you. Some things I learned, sometimes forget and wander away from, but seem to come back to when I realize I am out of whack.

Scripture says to "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17) . I used to have this picture something like this:
Not getting a thing done all day, stuff piling up and doing this every day till we die. It was a freeing, remarkable thing when I learned about that verse.

Our English language has a much different meaning of without ceasing than the Greek did. I have heard it explained that it means an attitude of prayer (how can that be? When sin enters in God does not hear. So we would need to almost be perfect to have a complete attitude of prayer). None of the other explanations made much sense to me either.

It was when I had the Greek fully explained to me that things made sense.

This is the only place in the Bible that this word is used. Usually, to interpret the Bible you would find out how the word is used in other places. Being the only place it is used leaves a bit of a problem. However, it was used in literature of Bible times. It is a fishing term.

A fishing net has to have a a pattern with no holes in it. See how the net has all the holes of the same size and no rips or tears? If there were tears in it the net would allow the fish to escape and it would have been said to be ceasing. Without tears, rips etc it is without ceasing.

How is your prayer life? Do you have a regular pattern of praying? Regular times? If not, then you have a ceasing prayer life and the things of the day can rip the holes even bigger. We need to have all of our lives covered by the net of prayer.

I try to pray about everything. To some that may be silly, but for me I find God guides me in times when I don't even think I need it. I try to have a regular time of prayer and then pray throughout the day. I must admit, there are times I get away from it and may stay away for awhile. Maybe get busy and out of the habit, or tiredness, something that I let keep me away. I end up forgetting and then find myself with the holes in my spiritual life.

Today I am exhausted. The last few weeks have been stressful and my habits and normalcy has been messed up. I am finding that I need to get back to my regular pattern for prayer and invite you all to join me.