This post is part of the Resolved series: a collection of 21 personal resolutions that I’m writing/preaching to myself.
If you’d like a little more information, please visit this introduction to the Resolved series.
Resolved, to pray without ceasing; knowing in single-minded faith that God can and will provide an answer to those prayers.
What and Why?
Here’s where I explain what I mean and why it matters.
To Pray Without Ceasing
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV
Prayer shouldn’t be confined to a 10-minute window of time on my knees by my bed. Paul’s words here instruct us to pray continually; to maintain a dedicated connection with God. Wether in gratitude or petition, I want to spend my day in constant contact with the Father.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, but let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:5-8 ESV
One of Satan’s favorite lies is to tell us that God isn’t listening and that He doesn’t care. This leads us into all sorts of doubt and instability; which James refers to as double-mindedness. One second, we trust God and His promises. The next, we doubt that He’s there at all.
Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, James lovingly and pointedly encourages us to pray with full assurance that God is listening. Our God is in total control of everything. In light of that truth, we can pray in complete confidence.
God Can and Will Provide an Answer
God can answer our prayers in three different ways: yes, no, and not yet. I don’t always like that, because I don’t always get what I want. What I do get, however, is Him. Prayer is not about me changing God; its about Him changing me.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 ESV
For those who love Jesus, everything that happens to us happens for God’s glory and for our good. That’s a bold statement; especially if you’re suffering and feel as though He’s just not listening. Take heart in the fact that, not only is God listening, but the Holy Spirit is continually praying for you. [Rom. 8:26,27] As if that weren’t enough, Jesus Himself is seated at the right hand of the Father and praying on your behalf. [Rom. 8:34]
How and When?
Here’s where I look at ways to practically apply this resolution to my life.
- Pray before decisions; big or small.
- Pray before meetings.
- Pray before and after every blessing.
- Develop a system for keeping track of and consistently praying over prayer requests.
That’s it for resolution #6. If you’d like to keep up with this series, feel free to click one of the links below and subscribe to my RSS feed.