As believers, we know that we should pray without ceasing. We set aside time in our day to spend talking with the Lord about what’s on our hearts. We gather together with other believers to pray for specific events, circumstances, and people within our own lives and within the world. However, is it really possible to pray at all times? Let’s explore this question a bit and consider praying without ceasing.
There was a time in my walk with the Lord when this idea of praying non-stop seemed very daunting. It seemed like it was achievable only for the super-spiritual seminary students or pastors.
What I’ve come to understand is that anyone who possessed the in-dwelling Holy Spirit has been fully equipped and empowered to pray without ceasing.
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What Does Pray Without Ceasing Mean?
Let’s begin by quickly mentioning what this means. What exactly does ceasing mean? The definition of “cease” according to our friend Webster: To stop; discontinue. Come to an end.
To pray without ceasing is to remain in a perpetual state of prayer.
What Does the Bible Say About Continuous Prayer?
In his letters to the church, Paul said many times that he did not cease to pray for them.
- Philippians 1:3 – I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all.
- Philippians 4:6 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
- Colossians 1:9 – For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding
The most well-known praying without ceasing verse is found in 1 Thessalonians.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
How Do You Pray without Ceasing?
If God’s Word commands that we pray continually, it must be possible. Fortunately, it may not be as hard as we may initially think once we understand the many forms of prayer.
There are many different forms of prayer and ways to fill our days, hours, and minutes with passionate prayer. Here are some of the ways to engage in prayer that help us to know how we can pray without ceasing.
Pray Without Ceasing Through Praise
Praise is simply giving thanks to God. Each time we lift up a silent thanks, sing a song of praise in our heart – we are praying!
- Many of the Psalms are full of praise and thanksgiving prayers.
- When we gather together and sing to the Lord corporately, we are lifting up prayers of praise together.
Prayers of Adoration
When we take a moment to meditate on the glory of God’s beauty or consider all the ways that God has been good to us, we are praying with prayers of adoration. These can be during moments we spend in His word, or simply when we are out in the presence of His creation.
Prayers of Supplication
A prayer of supplication is making an entreaty or beseeching the Lord for a specific request for ourselves or for another person. Each time we ask the Lord to give strength, wisdom, help, patience, or peace we are making a supplication prayer.
Prayers of Intercession
Intercession is when we plead with God on the behalf of another. In fact, this is what Hebrews 7 tells us that Jesus is doing for us in heaven.
Therefore He is also able to save forever those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. – Hebrews 7:25
Jesus’ ministry as our High Priest continues. He lived, died, and rose again to the right hand of the Father to intercede for our sins and give us eternal life.
When we pray for the lost or pray for the people of our nation to repent and turn to God, we are lifting up prayers of intercession.
Prayer of Confession
A prayer of confession is simply agreeing with God. When we confess our sins, shortcomings, bad attitudes, or lack of obedience to God we are offering prayers of confession.
Prayer of Declaration
Prayers of declaration are very similar to confession in that they are also ways in which we agree with God. I like to consider them as positive confessions. Prayers of declaration are the ways we declare God’s truth! Like prayers of praise, our time of corporate worship is often full of declaration.
Here are a few examples of prayers of declaration:
- I am a child of God
- God is the same yesterday, today, and forever
- There is no name above the name of Jesus
- The love of God endures forever
Prayer of Dedication
The final form of prayer I want to mention is dedication. These are prayers of commitment and surrender. I know many women (including myself) who have a daily dedication prayer that they like to pray. I’ve actually started praying this prayer with my kids each morning as a way of teaching them to give themselves to the Lord at the beginning of each day. Here is the dedication prayer that we use:
I give you my mind – my thoughts and attitude
I give you my heart – my feelings and ambitions
I give you my hands – my actions and decisions
I give you my mouth – the words I speak
May they all be pleasing to You.
The Important Benefits of Praying without Ceasing
As you can see, praying without ceasing seems much more feasible once we understand all the different ways we can engage in prayer!
But why is it so important? There are many benefits of praying without ceasing. Here are a few reasons why we should strive to pray at all times.
God’s Tells us to Pray Without Ceasing
Ever wonder what God’s will is for your life? Let’s take a look at 1 Thessalonians again.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
His Word tells us. Part of His will for us is that we would pray without ceasing.
Prayer Activates our Spiritual Armor
We need to be suiting up daily. We are in a spiritual battle that requires spiritual weapons.
I love this quote from Priscilla Shirer in her book Armor of God.
“When Paul talks about spiritual warfare in Ephesians 6, prayer is the seventh piece of armor. It activates all of the rest of the spiritual armor,” “When we refuse to pray, it’s like having a refrigerator without plugging it in. Prayer is the divinely authorized mechanism God has given us to tap into His power. Without prayer, we’ll be ineffective in spiritual warfare. But with it, we will be victorious.” – Priscilla Shirer
Prayer Is A Way We Partner with God
“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father, who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. – Matthew 6:9-10
Prayer is a means for believers to connect our lives and circumstances, and the lives of others, with God’s abilities and the resources of His kingdom.
Prayer is an important way for us to partner with our Heavenly Father in His work on earth.
3 Pray Without Ceasing Quotes from Priscilla Shirer
Here are a few more quotes from Priscilla Shirer about prayer that I just love!
“We pray because our own solutions don’t work and because prayer deploys, activates, and fortifies us against the attacks of the enemy. We pray because we’re serious about taking back the ground he has sought to take from us.”
“A prayer that’s seeking passion should not be about manufacturing a better feeling or jostling up a better mood. It’s simply about holding out your open hands—in thanksgiving first, in gratitude for God’s faithfulness and His goodness and His assured, accomplished victory over the enemy. Then asking. Asking for what He already wants to give you. Then waiting (expecting) to receive the promise of newness and freshness from His Spirit as you go along, more each day—praying until, as the prophet Hosea said . . . He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth. (Hos. 6:3)”
“Fervent prayer keeps your true identity in focus. Reminds us of who we really are and taps into the power we really have in Christ.”
Pray Without Ceasing Commentaries
There are many other great thoughts from others about praying without ceasing. Check out some of these other resources to learn more about this topic.
- Blue Letter Bible has a list of various commentators on this idea of praying without ceasing.
- Pray With Confidence has some great thoughts on how to pray without ceasing.
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