Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
I haven’t always been a prayer warrior. It has taken almost 55 years to become the person I am today, and likely that is the result of many hours of prayer from my grandparents and parents. I’m still a work in progress. I’m still not who I want to be, but at least I’m not who I used to be! A few years ago, I started praying as soon as my eyes opened in the morning. I then pray on my drive to work. I say silent prayers throughout the day for patients, family, friends, and strangers. I see requests for prayer on Facebook, and I pray. I pray before going to sleep at night, and sometimes I actually fall asleep praying. There’s no better place to fall asleep than in the arms of our heavenly Father. And if I wake up during the night I pray. I have made it my habit to pray. I talk to God all day long. I rejoice in Him for who He is, praise His name, and thank Him for everything, even the hard stuff. I ask forgiveness for my sins and failures, and He wipes the slate clean.
I Thessalonians tells us to rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances. This means we are to pray and pray a lot. I don’t think the scripture means to get down on our knees and pray nonstop for days on end. Rather I think it means we need to develop a relationship with God in which we can go to him all day and night at any time for any reason and just talk to Him. We can’t get to know someone if we don’t talk to them. And we sure can’t get to know God if we don’t talk with Him regularly.
I have sometimes thought, why in the world do I need to tell God this or that? He already knows everything anyway. He knows my needs. He knows my life. That’s true. He does, but He wants us to come and communicate with Him on a personal level. He wants us to share our joys, our life, our good times, our bad times, and everything that’s going on in our lives. He wants us to talk with Him. He wants us to praise Him, honor Him, and glorify Him. He wants us to recognize His authority and power and ability to take care of us and all situations we encounter. As we get to know our Father on a personal level, with each prayer we become closer to Him. We start feeling unspeakable joy, we feel closeness to the God of the universe, and we find peace in every situation. When we truly get to know our Father, we begin to truly see His power, and soon we realize that the Creator of the universe created us, and He is working behind the scenes in every situation that we are encountering. He is working it all out for our good and His glory.
Pray through the good times and pray through the bad times also! Too often, when a problem arises, we allow the pain of that problem to twist our thinking. This can cause us to respond inappropriately. We automatically tend to focus on the hardship that we are going through. We focus on the pain. When we do this we develop tunnel vision that only sees the bad in the situation, and we don’t see the goodness of our Savior. However, when we focus on God rather than self, we begin to see that these hardships are actually opportunities that draw us near to God. Hardships give us opportunity to learn to more fully trust in God and witness His power. When all seems lost, we must remember that the God of the universe is still right there…waiting…wanting for us to call on Him. We only have to pray and have faith. He hears every single prayer that His children speak…every…single…one!
People around us may come to faith if they witnessed our faith in God. Dare to go to God in prayer. Ask for the impossible. He will always answer. Perhaps He will not answer with the answer we want, but He will always answer with the answer we need for our good and His glory. So today, if it hasn’t been your habit to pray always, I ask you to start now. Pray about everything and anything. Just talk to God. All you have to do is say, “Hey God. It’s me again. Can we talk?” I assure you He is waiting for you to call out to Him today. Rejoice in everything. Pray always. Be thankful for everything.