Pray Without Ever Stopping?

Have you had the experience of getting a new car and feeling like it’s so unique?  Then as you begin driving around you notice quite a few other cars just like yours?  Funny how that happens.  I’m having a similar experience concerning breast cancer.  In just the last month I’ve heard from six people who are either being biopsied for possible cancer or they’ve already been diagnosed and are now proceeding with treatment.  I suppose when any of us goes through something, we are naturally more aware when the same thing happens to someone else.

While I was going through surgery and radiation treatment I often shared how an overwhelming compulsion to pray for the other patients around me would be so strong in my heart and mind.  Each day as I would walk the corridor to the radiation treatment area I felt a surge of excitement just in wondering who would be sitting around the corner in the patient area.  Would we talk?  What would I find out about them?  It was like being a spiritual detective trying to discover the clues of how best to pray.  Of course, sometimes no words were spoken by everyone in the room,  but being in God’s Agency, uncovering clues isn’t an absolute requirement.  The Holy Spirit can lead us in how best to pray for those around us.  We don’t have all knowledge, but He does.

Now that I continue to hear of others getting the same diagnosis as I had,  I am once again filled with compulsion to pray and have been reading and thinking a lot about this wonderful tool that Father has given to each of us.  It’s an amazing thing that through prayer we can work in partnership with God Almighty Himself in order to bring His purposes in Heaven to be brought into fruition on earth.

Remember the verse in I Thessalonians 5:17 that instructs us to Pray without ceasing? KJV  That short verse has been pondered and wondered about by all God’s children over the centuries.  At first it seems totally impossible because we know we cannot have thoughts of bringing our concerns to God every moment of the day.  Therefore, to pray without ceasing seems to be an unrealistic and impossible command of God to obey.

I’ve been reading a book by Henri Nouwen called “The Only Necessary Thing” and have been greatly blessed by his thoughts on the subject of prayer.  Concerning the command to pray without ceasing he writes, “To pray, I think, does not mean to think about God in contrast to thinking about other things, or to spend time with God instead of spending time with other people.  Rather it means to think and live in the presence of God. Although it is important and even indispensable for the spiritual life to set apart time for God and God alone, prayer can only become unceasing prayer when all our thoughts, beautiful or ugly, high or low, proud or shameful, sorrowful or joyful, can be thought in the presence of God. Thus, converting our unceasing thinking into unceasing prayer moves us from a self-centered monologue to a God-centered dialogue.”

I am constantly amazed when I stop to ponder the plan of Almighty God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, to use the likes of you and me to bring about His purposes through this thing called prayer.  May you be blessed in your part of the world, bringing your own thoughts into joyful awareness of Father’s listening ear at all times.  Wherever we are we are in His presence.  He is watching; He is listening; He is loving; He is working all things together for our good.  Romans 8:28  He is giving us great privilege to pray for all those He loves, whom He brings across our paths.