Pray without ceasing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Recently, I had a little object lesson on communication at work. As part of a small crew of carpenters doing residential work, we have generally relied on a good set of lungs as an adequate means of communicating between ourselves. This system seemed to break down on one job, however, when two workers on some scaffolding behind the house simply could not get the attention of another worker who was making cuts for them out front. One day, one of the workers brought a baby monitor from home (soon replaced by walkie-talkies) to try to establish better communication, and the problem was solved! Communication was no longer hindered, and we could relay requests and responses freely.
In Paul’s first epistle to the Thessalonians we find today’s focus verse, a brief, well-known instruction regarding communication with God. Was Paul’s intent that Christians remain on their knees before the Lord around the clock? Of course not. We realize that prayer is our principle means of communicating with God, and Paul simply wanted to emphasize the importance of keeping it open and effective at all times.
Different circumstances in our lives can at time hinder our “normal” way of communicating with God. Our prayers might be limited by busyness, physical tiredness, simply dealing with the cares of life, or numerous other day-to-day issues. In order to keep communication with God open at all times, we may have to make some changes in our routine. Obviously, basic communication with God must begin with a determination to obey Him fully in every aspect of our lives. We must do everything in our power to have a conscience void of offense before God and man (see Acts 24:16). But we may also need to adjust our schedule, habits, or choice of activities. We need to do whatever is needed to ensure our communication with Him is never interrupted.
Are we willing to make some changes in order for our prayers to be effective? Let’s evaluate and effect some changes if needed. May God help us to be able to “pray without ceasing”—to have that line of communication open at all times with our Savior!