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Thoughts on Praying Continually

Dear Friends,

Last week we did a Zoom prayer meeting at my church for the National Day of Prayer. During that meeting I spoke on I Thessalonians 5:16-18: "Rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." After the meeting a couple people asked me about a quote I used in explaining how we can "pray continually." Not just often, but continually.
 In this regard Brother Lawrence's short and very practical book, "The Practice of the Presence of God" was extremely helpful. But I was also helped by the spiritual guidance offered in the three quotes I have chosen to share today. And the benefits are enormous. Praying continually adds stability to our spiritual lives and helps keep us get off the spiritual roller coaster ride that can occur when we pray sporadically. And it helps us to "bring every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ" as Paul admonishes us in II Corinthians 10:5. Therefore I share the three quotes that helped me immensely in regard to learning how, "to have a constant undercurrent of prayer running continually under the stream of [my] thoughts."
“Even amid our mutual communion and interaction with people — amidst all the busiest scenes of our pilgrimage — we may be moving to and fro on the rapid wing of prayer, mental prayer—that prayer that lays the whole burden of the heart on a single sigh. A sigh breathed in the Spirit. Though inaudible to all around us but God, it may sanctify every conversation, every event of the history of the day. We must have fellowship at all times, either with the spirit of the world or the Spirit of God... Prayer will be fatiguing to people if uttered aloud and sustained long. Oral prayer, and prayer mentally ordered in words though not uttered aloud, no believer can engage in without ceasing. But there is an undercurrent of prayer that may run continually under the stream of our thoughts, and never weary us. Such prayer is the silent breathing of the Spirit of God, who dwells in our hearts. It is the temper and habit of the spiritual mind. It is the pulse of our life which is hidden with Christ in God." Hewistson
"I see that unless I keep up short prayers everyday throughout the whole day, I lose the spirit of prayer. [But if I keep up these prayers] I would never lose sight any hour, of the Lamb in the midst of the throne, and if I have this sight I shall be able to pray." Andrew Bonar
“The soil which the prayer of faith takes root in is a life of unbroken communion with God, a life in which the windows of the soul are always open toward the City of Rest. We do not know the true potency of prayer, until our hearts are so steadfastly inclined to God that our thoughts turn to Him, as by a Divine instinct, whenever they are set free from the consideration of earthly things. Only in this way is the perfect ideal of the Christian life realized—in intercourse between the believer and His Lord which is never interrupted. As some said of Origen, his life was one unceasing supplication.” David M’Intyre
To dwell on God and cherish Him throughout the day IS prayer. To sing praises to God as you go about your daily duties IS prayer—(Ps. 42:8). To be conscious of God and communion with Him in your thoughts, or simply to contemplate Him, and who He is, IS a form of prayer. To lift silent concerns to Him and ask for strength and the calming effects of His presence IS prayer. And the examples could go on and on. "Ordered prayer, uttered aloud and sustained long" is not the only way to pray. There are forms of prayer we can engage in all day long, even in the midst of our busiest times, daily activities, and conversations, that will help keep that, "undercurrent of prayer running continually under the stream of our thoughts, and never weary us."

In His Grace, Pastor Jeff


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