Apostle Paul, in a letter to Thessalonica stated, “Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17. What exactly does this mean? Webster’s Dictionary defines pray as to “implore, request, plea, thanksgiving.” Now that pray has been defined, let’s determine what the individual words defining pray mean, so that a deeper understanding is gained.
• Implore: Beseech; request earnestly or anxiously.
• Request: Something asked for; to ask as a favor; solicit.
• Plea: Appeal; expression of regret; action.
• Thanksgiving: Celebration of divine goodness; expressing gratitude.
Let’s also explore the definition of without and ceasing, to ensure a thorough understanding of pray is known.
• Without: Absent.
• Ceasing: To come to an end; discontinue.
Did you notice the words used to define pray are action words? This implies that an action is required by you to achieve a result. The action of course is to pray, and you are hoping and keeping faith, that the outcome will be favorable to you. For the outcome to be favorable, you must act.
The action is quite simple. First, express your gratitude to be able to place your burden upon someone else. Feel good that you are able to solicit a request or a plea, for the request hoped for. While our time, is not the Creator’s time; the anticipation; that the something asked for will be granted. The important statement is “the Creator’s time.”
This is where the praying without ceasing becomes somewhat troubling for us. We pray without ceasing and the results aren’t there. We place our burden upon the Creator and yet, we still walk away from our praying questioning when the solutions will appear. Do we pray again? What do we do?
We do as Apostle Paul stated and that is to continue to pray. Continue to celebrate that we were chosen to work out this problem. Be thankful that we are able to request. Be grateful that it is working, although, our eyes cannot see it. Apostle Paul would not have asked us to pray without ceasing, if he didn’t believe that the results would be in our favor.
When Apostle Paul asked that we pray without ceasing, what he was asking; is that we have faith as we pray. When Jesus stated, “upon my rock, I build this church”, what he was speaking of was faith. Faith is the thing hoped for. It is what the soul can see that the eyes cannot. And, it will come “right on time.” The prayer that was sent up, will not, and cannot, go unanswered. Now, the solution many not be what our limited vision had longed for, however, most likely it is much better than we had imagined.
To be able to pray is a privilege. It is a privilege to be able to offer up our sorrows and discomforts. It is a privilege that we know someone is listening, and, we will not be judged or cast aside. The privilege is ours because the privilege was
given at birth. Use the privilege and use it often. Continue to pray and not cease. In the midst of our most troubling times, continue to pray and have faith that our prayers will be answered. Apostle Paul stated, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 16-18.