I love my wife. She is an amazing woman, and we spend a whole lot of time together…especially since she is able to travel with us most of the time. We laugh a lot, talk about Jesus, talk about life, talk about the Georgia Bulldogs, argue a little, talk about ministry, music, food, etc…and all of that interaction generally takes place within the normal course of a day. However there are some times…during the day or during the week…where we need to have a special conversation…a meeting where one of us may say, “Honey (or some other term of endearment), can we talk for a minute?” Then we’ll step into a room, have focused conversation for however long it takes…then once we are both satisfied and at a point of peace, we’ll continue on with the day.
“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thes 5:17) is a difficult pill to swallow, but if seen through the lens of the above metaphor, it unlocks a powerful truth about RELATIONSHIP with God. A lot of us pray, especially when we need something, but few people “pray without ceasing”. Imagine if during my day I never said anything to Lauren, even when she was standing right next to me, or riding with me in the car…that would be pretty awkward!!! Then imagine if out of the blue I said, “hey lauren, we need to talk…” I’m sure she would think, “finally i’m gonna figure out what’s going on with him!”
Here is a powerful truth: Prayer is communion with God. Communion with God can take place at any or every moment throughout a day. Focused Prayer, or prayer as we typically perceive it, is like a special conversation. It’s like coming to your Father and saying, “Abba, can we talk for a minute?” Then you go to a quiet place, get on your knees, and have focused conversation with Him. But here’s the key: that focused time of prayer falls within the context of you talking to God throughout the day…about the weather, about people you love, about decisions, laughing with Him, wrestling with Him, crying with Him, just being His friend. That’s what it means to pray without ceasing.