Al Earley | Prayer every moment of the day
The days after the resurrection of Jesus Christ were filled with confusion on the Romans part, lying on the Jewish leader’s part, and celebration on the disciple’s part.
The church was growing quickly, and nothing the Romans and Jewish leaders did seemed to slow it down. In Acts 12:1-3 we are told that Herod had the first of the disciples martyred, James, beheaded with a sword. Seeing that this pleased the Jews, Herod had Peter imprisoned with the intent to have him killed as well.
What would the young church do in response to this attack on their leaders by the Romans and the Jews? In Acts 12:5 (KJV) they prayed without ceasing. Then an amazing set of miracls occurred and Peter walked out of the prison with the help of the angel, and knocked on the door of the house where believers were praying without ceasing (It is a great miracle story). In I Thessalonians 5:17 Paul tells us that we should pray without ceasing as well.
What is this kind of prayer? Religious radio host John MacArthur noted “Perhaps the best way to illustrate the idea of ceaseless prayer is to compare it to breathing. Inhaling and exhaling is so natural for us that it often seems totally involuntary; it’s actually harder to hold your breath than to breathe. The same should be true of prayer for the Christian. Prayer is like breathing for us. The natural thing for us to do is commune with God. When we don’t pray, we’re holding our breath spiritually-fighting against the very existence and presence of God in our lives. Prayer should flow naturally and continually from our hearts. (John MacArthur: Lord, Teach Me to Pray: Countryman. 2003. p. 49).
The praying Christian needs to have their disciplined prayer time, often in the morning, when he or she goes through their prayers of adoration, confession of sins, thanksgiving, prayers for others and self, and listening prayer to hear God’s gentle whisper to their soul revealing His will and wisdom for our lives. When we say the final “Amen” at the end of those disciplined prayers are we done praying for the day? We can rest assured God is not done guiding, protecting, and teaching us about His love and plans at this point. God has a whole day, while we live in the real world, with all its blessings and curses, to teach us so much. Therefore, if God is not done with us it makes sense for us to be in communion with God throughout the day. That is what it means to pray without ceasing.
As you live out your day, do you ever wonder if God is involved in any of the events of your day? I promise you, He is! In fact, God is involved in everything that happens to us during the day. From the mundane sharpening of pencils and other mindless tasks, to the complex interaction with the people in our lives. God is there each moment drawing us closer to Himself, teaching us how to live glorifying His name, calling us to be faithful witnesses to His presence in our lives, and so much more.
Soon, most of you who are reading this article will have to go somewhere, probably by car. Turn off all the things that make noise, and watch for the hand of God. Listen for God in the sounds, look for God in the events that allow you to get safely where you are going, think about the things you touch and how God is in that touch. As you reflect on God’s presence in everything that is going on around you think of that communion with God as prayer. Even if it seems silly to you that the creator of the universe would care about you that much, try this little exercise anyway. I think you will find out as I have that God does care about every moment of your life, and that nothing happens during the day that God is not in. If that is true who would not want to learn how to pray without ceasing?
How is God present in the mundane things in life? How is God present in the tests and tragedies of life? How is God present in the victories of life? Can you learn to pray all day so you don’t miss God’s presence in every moment of your life?
An amazing, blessed life awaits every disciple who learns to be faithful in unceasing prayer! (To find out more about Al Earley or read previous articles see, www.lagrangepres.com).