1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV – 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances: for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.And we’re back for the second part of our three part series in honor of Bible Week. Today we’ll be discussing the next verse in this passage of Scripture in 1 Thessalonians as highlighted above.
Verse 17 seems simple enough, it plainly tells us to “pray continually.” Although it may appear basic, it most certainly isn’t anything of the sort. I’d venture to say that to “pray continually” is one area we (as Christians) struggle with often. Let me explain.
There are some people who are prayer warriors, praying all the time. Praying is what they do and they do it well. Some others pray sometimes, it may be more of a routine (i.e. at bedtime, mealtime, tragedies, etc.). In addition, there are some who either don’t pray at all or they pray very little. I’ll admit that I’ve been in each of these categories.
Most of us know what prayer is, however, for those who don’t, it is defined as “to offer devout petition, praise, thanks, etc. to God”, according to Dictionary.com. It is basically how we communicate with God. The word continually is defined as “very often; at regular or frequent intervals; habitually, etc.”
In the previous verse, the word always (1Thessalonies 5:16) pertains to length of time whereas in this verse, the word continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17) relates to the frequency of it.
Trust me when I say I’m not suggesting that we pray as often as we breathe, I’m not sure that’s possible, but I am challenging you to step up your prayer game (take your prayer life to the next level). If your first response in stressful situations, is to talk to your husband, BFF, etc. about it, I encourage you to take 5 minutes to pray about it before discussing it with anyone. If your initial reaction to an incident is to worry or get angry, take a 5 minute prayer break before you reply. If your schedule is too busy to pray, add 5 minutes of prayer time to your agenda. You get the idea. J Be intentional about praying and the habit of doing so will soon follow.
We should be in the habit of praying, regularly talking and listening to God. Praying should not be based on the posture of your body but the position of your heart. In our society, there are times we won’t be able to kneel and pray, however, that shouldn’t stop us from praying. We can pray silently or aloud, through tears of sadness or joy, individually or with a group. The emphasis is on praying not the details of how and why, just do it: “pray continually” – it’s both complicated and simple. Some studies propose it takes about 17 days to form a habit – that’s it! One who persistently practices prayer, perfects the habit of it.May the habit of praying be with you, Takiela
Stay Tuned: Next we’ll be discussing “give thanks in all circumstances: for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV
(the third and final portion of this passage of Scripture in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV)