The Breath of Prayer

“Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.  See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.  Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

1 Thessalonians 5:14-18 (NKJV)

In his letter to the church at Thessalonica, Paul issues a series of exhortations that would enable and empower them as they live among a corrupt world.  One of these exhortations urges them to pray without ceasing, and, when viewed as a stand alone phrase, seems a bit unrealistic and unattainable.

However, when combined with the other exhortations to render a complete list of actions that function together, you begin to realize how each action affects the others.  Praying without ceasing then becomes realistic and attainable when we are always rejoicing and giving thanks in everything.  In essence, in doing these things, our view of prayer significantly changes.

Today, if we began to view prayer the same way that we view breathing, Christianity would look a lot differently.  Breathing is something we do without ceasing that enables life and action.  Even while we are doing other things, we are breathing…it comes effortlessly to a person who is alive.  For Christians, prayer should function the same way!

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