October 19

Today's Bible Reading
     I Kings 22
     I Thessalonians 5
     Daniel 4
     Psalms 108-109
“Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (I Thessalonians 5: 17)
            As Paul closed his first letter to the Christians at Thessalonica, he stirred them with a series of brief exhortations. Among these, we find the words, “Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks.” Here are some lifelong lessons for the believer regarding his prayer life.
            Paul is not talking about you being on your knees or in the prayer room all the time, but Paul is talking about the attitude of your heart. This word is used for a “hackingcough”. When you have such a thing, you don't cough all the time, but the need to cough is always there.
            The attitude, or inclination to pray, should be in your life at all times. Beneath the stream of your conscious thought, there is to be a deeper stream of unconscious communion with God which periodically bursts forth in spontaneous expression - a conversation with God in prayer. This means that at all time, you are ready to pray. It is very natural and normal in your lifestyle.
             Charles Spurgeon was a very humorous man. He was, on one occasion, out in the woods with another preacher. They were laughing and joking together. Charles Spurgeon stopped and said, “My brother, let's just pause and thank God for laughter.” We are to pray about everything. We are to pray as we go to work and that our work associates would come to Christ. As you drive, you should pray; in fact, on today's roads, you had better pray when you drive. Communion with God should be a daily and consistent part of your life. Paul tells us specifically how to “praywithout ceasing.”
                  1.  We are to pray continually (verse17). This urges the believer to a continual life of prayer with God - morning, noon, and night.
                  2.  We are to pray continually, giving thanks in everything (verse 18). Prayer can wrongly become dominated by asking things of God. Although asking is indeed a definite, legitimate, and Biblically commanded part of prayer, our prayers, like our attitudes in life, must be balanced. They should include constant thanksgiving - for the many blessings God sends our way, as well as for the trials which He allows us to face in order to mold us in Christ's image.
                  3.  We are to pray continually and never to faint. Christ urges us not to cease praying when we do not see our problems disappear immediately.
                  4.  We are to pray continually, “castingall your care upon Him.” (I Peter 5:7)
            These directions are God's will for you as a Christian. It is God's desire to have continuing fellowship with you, an intimate relationship with you at all times.
            Jesus never mentioned unanswered prayer. He knows that God always answers prayer in the best way -not just sometimes, but every time. The evidence of the answer in the area that we want it may not always be exactly as we expect it to be, and may not always immediately follow. Do we expect God to answer prayer?
            The danger we have is that we want to water down what Jesus said to make it mean something that aligns with our common sense. If it were only common sense, what He said would not even be worthwhile. The things Jesus taught about prayer are supernatural truths He reveals to us.
Today is a good time to begin to pray without ceasing.
            Remarkable inroads have been made among young people through Hindu Buddhist groups, and some of their gurus gain large followings. Many lives have been damaged by cultic practices -use of drugs, promiscuous sex and exposure to demonic influences. An example of this is the Hare Krisna movement that has a large following in former Soviet states since the ending of Communist rule. Pray for this generation of young people to be directed and focused on the truth of God's Word.