By Susan Aken
Having believed in Jesus for over fifty years, I’ve heard countless lessons and sermons about prayer. I’ve enjoyed multiple prayer partners, learned much, and experienced many answers. Yet, I still struggle sometimes with prioritizing talking to God. Too often I rush through the day occasionally thinking about Him. Worries come to mind and I fret instead of expressing them to God. Temptations lure me and I forget to ask my Father for help. Yet, He wants me to bring everything to Him.
Prayer is essential to the Christian life. Click To TweetIt’s communication with our heavenly Father. Any relationship needs dialog in order to grow stronger and stay healthy. Needing interaction with those we can see, how much more do we need discourse with God whom we can’t see. Our heavenly Father loves us and wants intimacy with us. We can’t know God or stay in connection with Him without prayer. The Apostle Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament, urged us to “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17, ESV). In the original Bible language, it says, “Unceasingly pray.” Other translations say, “pray continually” or “never stop praying.” This verse has always inspired me but also has felt like an impossible goal. Did he mean we should never stop praying?
Prayer isn’t a speech or a monologue. It shouldn’t be us merely listing our requests. Prayer is a conversation with our Creator. It’s the natural outcome of my union with my Savior. Click To TweetHe loves us so much and wants us to be in constant contact with Him. Abiding in Him. Obviously, Paul didn’t mean we should attempt the impossible task of praying every second. He was emphasizing how important prayer is in our lives. Talking to God should be as natural to us as breathing. Click To Tweet
How do we pray without ceasing?
As we recognize each gift throughout the day, thank Him. Thank Him for life, the people we love, the beauty all around us, our food and drink, and the countless other blessings we have. There are always gifts to thank Him for. When we say, “Thank you Father for this beautiful day,” we’re conversing with God.
When worries assail, instead of stewing over them, bring each concern or doubt to God. Click To Tweet Lift every person you care about and any bad news causing fear to invade your peace to Him and ask for His help.
As you’re aware of your weaknesses and sins, confess them to Him. Ask for His forgiveness when you fail. Look to Him for the power to make better choices and rest in His grace.
When you hear about the hurts and sorrows of others, talk to God and ask Him to meet their need and give them what is best. Then listen to learn if there’s any action He wants you to take.
Seek wisdom and guidance for decisions you need to make.
Above all, love Him and rejoice in His love for you. Meditate on God’s glorious character remembering prayer is a relationship not a duty.
All this is what I aspire to. I’m still growing and learning. Some days are better than others. He’s incredibly patient and kind and His Holy Spirit helps me and reminds me.
Thank You, Father, for continually teaching me, guiding me, and loving me into the woman You want me to be. I love You!
How can you improve your prayer life today?
Get to Know Susan!
An Oklahoma native who has lived in Nebraska since 1987, Susan is a former school librarian, and current substitute teacher who has been involved in public education for over thirty years. She and her husband have one son whose adoption at two days old when she was 39 was a miracle. They now also have a beautiful daughter-in-law. Susan is a contributing writer to Wholly Loved Ministries and has occasionally written devotions for other blogs. Besides writing she has a passion for special needs ministry and prayer ministry. She enjoys time with family, reading, photography, movies, walking anywhere in nature, and sitting down with a cup of tea.
Susan uses her writing to serve Wholly Loved Ministries in numerous capacities, including creating content for our devotional projects and Bible reading plans as well as writing articles for iBelieve on the ministry’s behalf. She looks to Jesus as her constant friend, Savior, and Lord. She believes life is a journey and we’re all in different places. It’s all about grace.
You might want to read: Praising God Gets Us Through Hard Times
If you’re seeking resources that will help you grow closer to Christ, make sure to grab a copy of our latest devotional, Anchored and Secure: 60 Days of Resting in Grace:
Thanks to Christ’s death and resurrection, we don’t have to stress, strive, or perform. We simply need to rest in what Christ has already done. That is when we begin to come alive and find the power and courage to live as He intended. That’s when we experience true and lasting freedom. This sixty-day devotional helps women reflect on God’s grace and the freedom of living deeply anchored in Him.
Find it HERE.