February 3, 2024

Pray Without Ceasing

Written by Tripp Prince

All of life can be offered to God as a prayer.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 3, 2024

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, ESV

I’m someone who values a well-defined rule, goal, or standard. Remove the ambiguity and simply tell me what I should do, where I should go, or who I should be! That said, this desire for clarity can be both alarming and disheartening when the standard feels impossibly high and unobtainable, and in our life of faith, this is perhaps nowhere more clear than in Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians 5, where he reminds us that it is the will of God, amongst other things, to “pray without ceasing” (verse 17).

In truth, it may be more honest to say my life has been defined by “live without praying” more than it has “pray without ceasing.” There have been seasons of life in which I struggled to find the energy and ability to pray in a consistent or sustainable way. In times such as these, God in his mercy carries us and reaches out to us even when we cannot reach out to him. However, true as that may be, the life God longs for us to live is one of mutual indwelling, us in him and him in us. 

You may find yourself wondering, as lovely as it may sound, how on earth does one actually pray without ceasing? Even if you find yourself in a season of deep passion for the Lord and desire to pray, life has demands that we must all tend to! Yes, this is true. We must work our jobs, eat food, care for our kids, and talk to our neighbors. Yet the wisdom of Scripture and holy men and women throughout the ages is this: all of life can be offered to God as a prayer. 

To pray without ceasing is to live with an abiding awareness of the nearness of God. It is a life tuned to the rhythms of God’s kingdom, seeking to breathe in his life and peace and breathe out anxiety and fear. At times, our prayers may be structured and extended, time set apart to commune with Him in a deep and rich way. However, if prayer is an ongoing conversation with God, the conversation doesn’t end when our “quiet time” is over. We continue to pray by abiding in him as he abides in us, and as we do, slowly but surely, we learn that “praying without ceasing” is not an impossible standard that can never be reached but is the key to encountering the life of Christ in the everyday moments of everyday life.


Father, we long to encounter you and know your life and love in every moment of every day. Be near to us and teach us today to pray without ceasing, through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Consider short “breath prayers” that you can memorize and keep on your heart and lips throughout the day. Phrases like “Lord have mercy on me, a sinner,” or “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want,” or “Blessed are the pure in heart” can be offered as prayers to the Lord, teaching us to pray without ceasing.

Related Reading

Matthew 6:9–13; Philippians 4:6–7; Hebrews 4:16

Worship Resource

Phil Wickham: Battle Belongs


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