Image by Dane Low via Flickr
“Pray without ceasing” Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
“Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” appears in Romans 12:12.
“Pray in the spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication” is found in Ephesians 6:18
And then “Continue steadfastly in prayer…” in Colossians 4:2.
Ok, Ok I get it. Not only is prayer important, but God invites to pray continually. More than an invitation, it sure sounds like a command to me, yet so hard, even unfeasible to maintain.
“God never asks the impossible for us. If one had always to be in church, one would die for lack of the necessities of life; and were one obliged to be always on one’s knees, who could bear the constant fatigue? But God asks only for a conversation to continue always between the two of us, and it can continue when you are working, eating, drinking, writing, and even while sleeping.” 17th century Protestant mystic of the French Reformed Church, Pierre Poiret.
I have always been fascinated about the idea of praying without ceasing. I am not the only one with this passion.
Brother Lawrence wrote, “There is not mode of life in the world more pleasing and more full of delight than continual conversation with God.”
St. John of the Ladder said, “Let the memory of Jesus combine with your breath.”
Many methods and writing across the century give us prompts to increase prayer in our lives. I have a computer application that interrupts my writings throughout the day for a quick break for prayer.
Many practice the Prayers of the Hours.
Again others rely on spontaneous adoration to the beauty of nature and the smell of a newborn child.
I know I am much more aware of God’s presence during the day and yap at Him continually when I hem my day with time with Him. Morning devotions and contemplative prayer starts many (to be truthful, not all) my days. I end my days with Ignatius’ Daily Examen , reviewing what I am more grateful for and least grateful as I drift off to sleep.
Sometimes life is so complicated I regret trying to learn to pray constantly. Yet practicing this holy habit brings me peace and comfort even on the crazy days. And I miss His companionship when I forget to bring God into my conversation.
I know I will never be perfect at least here on earth. Sometime it is days before I realized I never thanked God for something tremendous or failed to lift a difficulty up in prayer.
Frank Laubach prayed, “The task to which You have called me is a hard to accomplish as scaling Mount Everest, but You can accomplish it if I can keep my will attuned to Your will… That is my task, to hold my will to the current of power and let You sweep through endlessly.”
Please Lord, continue to sweep through the days of my life and permeate every moment.
How do you pray without ceasing?