S76P1 – The posture of prayer: constant

1 Thes. 5:16-18

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

I remember being eighteen years old and thinking that I was in love.  Some people are emotionally mature at that age, but I certainly was not.  My current mature self can look back and see that what I actually was feeling was infatuation and excitement.  That was a relationship which consumed my mind at all times.  I am sure that many have experienced not being able to think of anything but one’s object of affection and being so focused on only that person.  It was as if everything in life was not as important, and I was just getting through those moments until we could be together again.  That was a pretty extreme level of devotion but still less than what our Father requires.

When I first became a Christian I could not understand this instruction to pray without ceasing.  I perhaps took it too literally and thought God really wanted us to be on our knees in prayer and doing nothing else. As I have progressed in my faith, that idea has changed significantly.  I notice that in good times I praise God, and in bad times I seek his help. When I experience what we might consider to be neutral times I still think about how gracious He is to give me a period with little or no stress.  I have come to realize that praying constantly means, at least for me, just having God on my mind all the time.  Regardless of what I am experiencing in life, I need to make sure that our line of communication is ever open.  I need to make sure that I am seeing and seeking him in all things.

Jesus Christ was never disconnected from the Father, but He certainly spent time in fellowship with others and doing things that are not literal prayer.  Yet, we know that He was perfect in how He lived his faith.  It may not have looked like it, but Christ was following this command to pray without ceasing.  His prayer was constant thought about the Father.  Nothing could distract his resolve in that respect, not even the roaring waves of a sea storm.  Everything He did, said and pursued was with the Father in mind.  Let us be so in love with God that He is ever on our minds, and then our praying will not cease.  Father, teach us to keep our minds on You at all times that we would remain always in a posture of prayer and consideration of You.