Without Ceasing

Pray without ceasing, 1 Thessalonians 5:17

In the car.
On a walk.
As you lay in bed.
When you rise in the morning.
when you brush your teeth at night.
In a contentious meeting.
When a loved one dies.
On the way to church.
In church.
After church.
During meals.
When you go to the doctor.
When you’re waiting for the results.
When you’re playing with kids and grandkids.
When you’re having dinner with your spouse.

Pray without ceasing.

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Abide

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John 15:7

The “key” to prayer, as it were, was never about the asking. It was about the relationship. Take away that element, and prayer is nothing but words.

All fathers love to bless their kids good things. No father that I know of likes to hear their kids ask for something and then run away without even acknowledging the father exists. He wants to know that his children love him and want to be around him.

Father God desires for us to approach Him like that. Come with our concerns, gripes, complaints, wishes, desires, frustrations, worries, cares, and requests. Bring them all.

Then as you read the Scriptures, you glean some of that wisdom and understanding. You begin to know how He thinks about a matter. You begin to understand what kinds of requests are appropriate and which are totally out of whack. Sure, you can bring them to Him, but you probably already know how He’ll answer it.

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Is the Whole World Mad?

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Now more than ever our leaders need our prayers. There’s a lot of craziness around the country, not just in Washington DC. I’m afraid there are only a few who have not gone totally nuts, but just a few.

Pick a topic: defense, spending, taxes, border security, international relations, energy, COVID-19, crime, Israel, or any others. Stick with that topic through the week and pray for our leaders. They need wisdom and some may even need to be brought to justice. There’s just so much going on now that it’s hard to wrap your head around it, and it’s not just in this country. It seems as if the entire world has gone crazy.

Pray for the President, Congress, the courts. Pray all of this at the State level as well. There’s something deeper going on than what we see so we need divine wisdom to get through it.

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Attitude of Gratitude

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you. Colossians 1:3

The last two companies I worked for, management’s highest characteristic they wanted for the company (in theory at least) was to be grateful.

Gratefulness and appreciate is always a welcome character trait. According to those leaders, it was the highest trait you could have. Interesting, isn’t it?

It’s always nice to be appreciated. When people thank you for something you’ve done, it feels good, especially if you didn’t feel appreciated at the time of the word or task.

When we pray, it’s always good to express our thanks for the people who mean the most in our lives. When we do that, we immediately feel better about that person. It’s often best to tell them in person that you appreciate them, though that’s harder for some because it tends to be awkward.

Still, being and saying we’re thankful is one of the many traits that separates us from the animal kingdom.

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A Good Heavenly Father

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them. Psalm 145:18-19

The key element in this verse is fearing the Lord. Without that element, praying to Him is much like asking Santa Claus for things at Christmas.

God wants to give His children good things. But He also commands respect. He won’t “zap” us if we’re flippant or cavalier with our prayers, for instance, but He probably won’t answer them right away.

Yes, coming to Him is important, but with respect and humility, and of course truth. Then we ask what we will.

He really is a good heavenly Father.

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