Sunday, May 5, 2013

Praying Without Ceasing

Continuing to spend time in the Psalms my attention is regularly drawn to the subject of prayer.
Most psalms are either a prayer of petition or praise to God or a call for others to do so.

Psalm 50 was the reading for this morning.  Here we find God addressing His people and what He is saying is that their rituals and sacrifices are not what He is looking for.  He wants to hear form them personally.  It is a sacrifice of thanksgiving that He seeks.

We cannot express thanksgiving without our heart; it is always personal.
A life lived out of gratitude is a different story than one lived by ritual.

Our God is all about relationships.
Relationships involve communication and care.
That means prayer is essential to a relationship with our God.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to..
"Prayer without ceasing."
In other words be in constant communication with our God.

How do we live that out?
Can we be talking with God constantly?
In a sense yes.

In the devotional Today in the Word, which is published by Moody, I read something about a woman named Simone Weil.  She was a French philosopher in the early part of the twentieth century.   Her book Waiting for God includes an essay entitled "Reflections on the Right Use of School Studies with a View to the Love of God."
Quite a mouthful!
The direction of that essay was to encourage learning, not for learning's sake nor to pick a favorite subject, but to use it to develop the faculty of attention which can be directed to God. to her, prayer meant to give one's full attention to God.

As I thought about this I realized that this is what we read in Scripture over and over.  Be focused.  Develop and grow with the purpose of being able to Allow God to be woven through our entire life, the very fabric of our lives.  Do everything for Him and know that He is in everything.  He is omnipresent and so we should seek to recognize His Presence in the midst of NOW.
We will not be disappointed.

So pray without ceasing.  Recognize that it is His very breathe that was breathed into us to give us life.  And have the ability and strength to recognize Him.  It is He whose Presence we are in the midst of; enveloped by Him.
Yes, whether we know it or not.  He is here.
As we practice the mindset of allowing everything to direct us to Him and to do everything for Him we will find ourselves praying with ceasing!

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