Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 18, 2014
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NJKV
When we became followers of Jesus we were born into His spiritual ecosystem. The air of His environment is pure and cleansing. So, as faithful disciples we learn to use our spiritual lungs to breathe in the oxygen of God’s ongoing awareness. Our mindset focuses on His presence and power, not on fear or unseemly influences. Our heart surrenders in willful and joyful dependence on Christ. We pray without ceasing when our soul inhales the Spirit and exhales self.
Moreover, there is an openness that accompanies an attitude of prayer. We don’t have to prove a point or shift a conversation to blame someone else. Instead, we learn to pray in the middle of a contentious circumstance trusting the Holy Spirit to influence debates and align hearts around His will. Yes, prayer is the will of God, that reveals the will of God. We know without a doubt we traffic in the middle of the Lord’s will as we engage in prayer. Constant prayer is a joyful guide.
“Be earnest and unwearied and steadfast in your prayer [life], being [both] alert and intent in [your praying] with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2, Amplified Bible).
Not praying is like holding our breath; we deny spiritual oxygen to our thoughts. We become vulnerable to lies and deception. We smother our faith when we deny our soul the air of prayer. For example, someone tells us disturbing news related to their bad choices. In the moment, we pray and ask God for grace to love and support them during this very difficult time. We embrace them without embracing their foolishness and ask the Lord for His wisdom. A prayerful response during a heated discussion cools the conversation. Prayer in a crisis invites Christ’s calmness. If the only time we pray is when we are in trouble–then we are in trouble. Prayer needs exercise.
Furthermore, in everything we give thanks to our heavenly Father with a posture of humble prayer. When our health fails, we thank Him for the life we’ve enjoyed so far. Whether God heals us or not we will be grateful for His goodness and boldly share the gospel of Christ. We pray without ceasing, as we are alert to the Spirit’s promptings to give. We see with spiritual eyes the gray haired man diligently cleaning tables at the food court. With a smile we give him a cash gift, and in broken English we hear “Thank you.” Constant prayer engages opportunities to give!
“And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains” (Colossians 4:3).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, continually keep my heart prayerful and joyful, trusting in Your will.
Related Readings: Luke 18:1; Acts 1:14; Ephesians 6:19; Philippians 4:6; 2 Timothy 1:3
Post/Tweet today: Unceasing prayer is the will of God that reveals the will of God. #wisdomhunters
Additional Resource: Dig Deeper- C. H. Spurgeon’s sermon- http://bit.ly/1kw4XhI
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