Ok. Breathe. Paul is not expecting his encouragement to be taken with the utmost literalness. That being said, let’s not miss what Paul is encouraging here. Prayer is important! It should be repetitive and continual.
Our lives should be so characterized by prayer that a literal interpretation of this exhortation would not be that unreasonable or even undesired. What’s encouraging to think about is that we have a relationship with someone who literally never ceases to hear us when we do pray. That’s amazing!
Praying without ceasing may be impossible, but we should strive to make prayer prominent in our days! But how?
Thankfully, Jesus gives us a model for how to make prayer a consistent activity throughout our day. Just remember to A.S.K.
ASK. SEEK. KNOCK.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” –Matthew 7:7
These exhortations from Christ are not to be one-time events, but consistent, ongoing, persistent actions in our lives: asking seeking, knocking, and repeat. So, how do we live out A.S.K. day by day?
ASKING: MAKE OUR REQUESTS.
God is honored by our requests. When a need presents itself, simply ask God to fill it. Be bold. Be humble. Be specific. God will never say, “You ask too much.” How many times throughout our day do we see a need? Whether personal or outside ourselves, need is all around us. For the sake of our joy and the glory of God, let’s turn to the one who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us (Ephesians 3:20).
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” -Philippians 4:6
SEEKING: INTENTIONALLY SET OUR MINDS AND HEARTS ON HIM.
The Bible is full of prayers, exhortations, and praises that involve seeking the Lord. And it’s no wonder why, right? Seeking God in all that we think, say, or do is what it means to be a follower of Christ. Like trains and railroads, our hearts should be set on tracks moving forward to the glory of God in Christ.
Of course, no one stays on these tracks perfectly. Our hearts often derail.
So, whenever we do anything (driving to work, changing diapers, or talking to friends), let’s train our minds to ensure our hearts are on the right track by praying a simple prayer. Lord, help me to seek you in this.
“But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.” –Deut 4:29
Keep seeking. God promises He will reveal Himself.
KNOCKING: DOORS WILL OPEN.
How many times do our ambitions face tension from whether or not doors will open? We want to go this way, but this has to happen. We want to do something, but we need to have this. Most of the time, these doors are beyond our control. But thanks be to God, we have a relationship with the Lord of Doors!
Whenever you face the need for doors to be opened, knock on the biggest and best door in the universe. Knock on God’s door, he will open. Now, this doesn’t mean your other doors will open but acknowledging God is more important than any door you want to be opened.
Plus, let’s remember that “For those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” –Rom 8:28
Keep knocking. God promises He will respond.
As you train yourself to live a life of continual prayer, would you add Encompass World Partners to your things to pray for list? Our global workers and staff face great need in their lives as they pursue the unreached and unengaged peoples of the world with the gospel. To help structure your praying effort, we have created a Prayer Guide that provides names, places, and needs. We hope you enjoy going before God in prayer with us.