1 Thessalonians 5:17 - God's Presence And Continuous Prayer.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 - God's Presence And Continuous Prayer.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NKJV) pray without ceasing,

1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NIV) pray continually;

1 Thessalonians 5:17 (CWR) Never stop praying.


   Be joyful, never stop praying, and be thankful - these three 
commands often go against our natural inclinations. But when we make a 
conscious decision to do what God says, we will begin to see people in a 
new perspective, and we will find it easier to be joyful, prayerful, 
and thankful.  
   Never stop praying means not giving up. It does not mean 
consciously praying at every moment. We cannot spend all our time on our 
knees, but it is possible to have a prayerful attitude at all times, 
being constantly in conversation with God and attentive to his 
Spirit's ongoing presence in our everyday lives. A prayerful attitude is 
not a substitute for regular times of prayer but should be an 
outgrowth of those focused times.  
   If you find yourself filled with worry, turn those thoughts 
into prayers. If you are excited or happy about something, turn that 
into a prayer of thanks to God. He desires to be close to your life - 
in sorrow and joy. Open yourself to his presence. [One Year NLT SB 
re vss. 16-18] 


   No matter how intent we are on focusing on God, the events of 
any given day seem to undermine our focus. Most of us don't live in 
a monastery or a cabin in the woods and exist solely to commune 
with Him consciously. We have schedules. Distractions. Fires to put 
out. People to answer to. And a cacophony of voices vying for our 
attention. Focusing on God doesn't come naturally.  
   That's why we need to practice paying attention to Him - what 
Brother Lawrence and many others have called "practicing the Presence of 
God." We have to take moments - seize them forcefully - to consciously 
turn our attention back toward Him. We have to make ourselves think 
of Him until it becomes natural, until we are constantly aware of 
His Presence.  
   How can we do that? Think of all the times we wait for 
something - in line at the store, on hold to talk with someone, or any 
other downtime when thoughts wander. Open a conversation with God in 
those moments. At the beginning of a meeting or even in the middle of 
a conversation with someone, breathe a quick, silent prayer 
inviting God into the room. Ask Him to fill your words with His Presence 
or to work through circumstances. The result can turn a casual 
conversation into a major advance in a relationship or a new direction in 
goals. It can leverage a crisis situation for His glory. The course of 
a day - or a lifetime - can be radically shifted by inviting Him 
into the details of any given moment.  
   Try that today. Every few minutes invite Him into whatever is 
happening in you and around you. He can invisibly but powerfully change 
the environment with His peace and Presence, and your days can take 
on a whole new meaning.  
   Lord, I invite You into this moment right now - and the next, 
and the next. Please help me keep my thoughts fixed on You, Your 
goodness, and Your power. [The One Year Experiencing God's Presence 
Devotional by Chris Tiegreen re Psa. 145:5] 

   God is persistent. His rescue plan for humanity took 
millennia to unfold, but even after repeated rejection by His people, He 
continued to redeem, restore, and prepare for the Messiah. He relentlessly 
pursues our love and does not abandon us, no matter how many times we 
fall. He has promised to complete the work He has begun in us, no 
matter how long it takes or how winding the road seems to be. God does 
not give up.  
   It only makes sense, then, that this God of persistence tells 
us to be persistent. He continues to make us in His image, and this 
is one of the ways we are to reflect Him. That's why Jesus told His 
disciples to pray and "never give up" (Luke 18:1), giving them parables 
about knocking on a neighbor's door repeatedly (Luke 11:5-8) and 
pestering a judge until he gives a favorable decision (Luke 18:1-8). In 
our pursuit of God, His Kingdom, and His will for our lives, we are 
to be relentless just as He is relentless - even if the one we 
petition is Him. He invites us to remind Him of His promises and take no 
rest in doing so (Isaiah 62: 6-7). He urges us to "pester" Him.  
   Hear His heart: "I don't ask for your persistent prayers 
because I'm hard of hearing. I ask for them because in the process of 
asking, listening for My answers, waiting on Me to act, and continuing 
to seek out My will, you are being drawn close to Me. My delays are 
rarely a no; they are an invitation to come closer. If you learn this, 
you will find yourself growing deeper and stronger in Me."  
   Father, forgive me for giving up too quickly when I pray. 
There's no reason for me not to come to You for everything at all times. 
May Your Spirit remind me often to pray, and may You hear my 
requests and answer them according to Your power and purpose. [The One 
Year Experiencing God's Presence Devotional by Chris Tiegreen] 

You need Me every moment. Your awareness of your constant need 
for Me is your greatest strength. Your neediness, properly handled, 
is a link to My Presence. However, there are pitfalls that you must 
be on guard against: self-pity, self-preoccupation, giving up. Your 
inadequacy presents you with a continual choice - deep dependence on Me, or 
despair. The emptiness you feel within will be filled either with 
problems or with My Presence. Make Me central in your consciousness by 
praying continually: simple, short prayers flowing out of the present 
moment. Use My Name liberally, to remind you of My Presence. Keep on 
asking and you will receive, so that your gladness may be full and 
complete. (1 Th. 5:17; John 16:24) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young] 


Listening for the Holy Spirit becomes the great adventure of 
prayer - We come with hands empty, so that He can fill them. [The One 
Year Book of Encouragement by Harold Myra] 








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