Let’s face it, we may groan inside but most of us are either too embarrassed or too polite to voice our
honest opinions following a long grueling public prayer, whether pontificated before a large gathering or
spoken earnestly among a handful in our Bible study group. Generally they’re lofty and run the gamut of
reminders about our current circumstances. As if God needed our troubles pointed out. For the record,
God is way ahead of us. So, if God doesn’t need reminders, then who does - because we sure don’t need
them either. If the lengthy public prayers turn us off, perhaps we might reconsider by revising some of our
private ones too.
The Apostle Paul exhorted us to “pray without ceasing.” Those three words are the sum total of
the verse. Three. Brief, short, concise. And we get the point, right? Could that be saying that it might be
a good thing to pray all day long and have an ongoing conversation with God? If that’s the case, then it
follows that ‘brief and often’ would be the way to go. There’s no sense in going through our laundry list of
woes when God has a far better grip on them than we do anyway.
An immediate need will teach anyone brevity. We’ve all been there when we suddenly realized that our short
prayer was long enough. God doesn’t need explanations or justifications. God was and is and will be, and
no amount of our ramblings will make a dent in God’s omniscience. Here’s what James tells us: if we are
humble and trusting we will be lifted up. (James 4:10) He also says that the prayer of a righteous person is
both powerful and effective. (James 16:5) Notice that there’s no mention of long drawn out prayers. In you
choose to spend hours and hours in prayer in your personal prayer life - that’s wonderful. We need prayer
warriors. But if you can’t, then try praying without ceasing. Jesus died for you and He longs to talk with you
all day every day.
Another thing James says is that a prayer of faith will heal the sick. If we pray without ceasing by talking with
our Creator all day, there’s no question that a prayer for healing is a done deal. Let’s face it, when we can
do nothing - Jesus can. By dedicating ourselves to a continual mode of prayer we also open our lives to an
ongoing series of miracles - a few faith words here and a few there, and our bushes may burn but will never
be consumed. Constant communication produces instant and effectual miracles - little ones every day and
sometimes big ones.
|“Pray without ceasing”
(I Thessalonians 5:17)