Saturday, August 20, 2011
Connection - How To Pray Without Ceasing
Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to pray without ceasing.
Does this mean that Paul never got invited to dinner because his friends knew His pre-dinner prayer would never stop? When would be an appropriate time to say "amen" if your prayer never stops?
The point of this verse isn't to encourage us to hold a filibuster with God like in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington."
The real meaning is to have a connection with God that never is severed.
Jesus said that He only did was His Father told Him to do. He only spoke what His Father told Him to speak. In order to stay in line with the will of God for His life, Jesus maintained a connection to God. He wasn't verbally praying non-stop. He was aware all the time of what the Father wanted.
This isn't some new-age "I feel a higher power" type of connection. It isn't a feeling that we maintain with incense and music. It's a choice to put God in the front of our minds and to involve Him in every decision.
Most of us don't keep up this connection every second of every day. We lash out in an ungodly way. We get distracted by the things of the world. We forget momentarily that we are ambassadors and messengers of the greatest news mankind has ever heard.
How do you keep a connection with God?
Just like any relationship. Work. I'm not saying with "works." I'm saying that it's a conscious decision to focus on God more. The more you focus on seeking God by reading your Bible, worshipping, praying verbally and otherwise, the more God will speak to You.
One of the most powerful promises in the Bible is that if you seek God, you'll find Him. Knock and the door will be opened. And my favorite: when you draw near to God, He will draw near to You. If you take a step towards Him, He'll respond with steps toward you. You feel like God is distant? Start running towards Him. He'll be next to you faster than you can say "New King James."
Another way to seek God is to remove things that may be distracting. This doesn't mean that you have to give up all food except bread and water and never look at a screen again. This means that the more you consciously, purposefully give to God, the more He'll reward you for it. This is why fasting is so powerful. It's a decision to take one step away from the regular pleasures of life and to direct that step towards God.
So keep up your connection to God! Seek God, hear from Him, and respond with worship, obedience and sacrifice! Promise it'll be worth it.