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Devotions > Without Ceasing

18 Feb 2013


Dear ones, we are each instructed in 1Thessolonians 5:17 to pray without ceasing.    How should this look in our lives?    What did Paul have in mind when he penned this command?

Perhaps a more germane question might be how critical, how applicable, do we see this injunction to be to our day to day activities?   Perhaps some may disregard this instruction entirely based on the assumption that it is impossible and thus not pertinent in any practical sense.  

 This reasoning seems rationally related to the dark and deceptive question posed in the Garden …  “ Did God really say ?   This might lead us to the suspicion that we may be receiving some dark side assistance when we began to lean in the direction of this defective and destructive logic.    So how are we to apply this tutoring to our lives?

Perhaps a careful examination of the environment of this imperative will be instructive?

1 Thessalonians 5:15-22 (NASB77)
15 See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all men.
16 Rejoice always;
17 pray without ceasing;
18 in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
19 Do not quench the Spirit;
20 do not despise prophetic utterances.
21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;
22 abstain from every form of evil.

As you read this passage slowly and contemplatively let its thoughts flow gently over your spirit.   Avoid the magnifying glass for a moment and focus through the telescope.    Seek to learn the heart of the author being revealed through this passage.   Ask the Holy Spirit to enliven and enlighten your spirit. 

In a devotion by A.W. Tozer entitled “Think Like God Thinks”  Tozer states:  “ If God knows that your intention is to worship Him with every part of your being, He has promised to cooperate with you.  On His side is the love and grace, the promises and the atonement, the constant help and the presence of the Holy Spirit.       On your side there is determination, seeking, yielding, and believing.”

In the passage above it appears that Paul is addressing our part.    Perhaps we could summarize the actions on our part as: determination to seek and yield to God by faith.    Buried just below the surface of this passage, hidden directly under yielding, we find a pure humility that flows from faith.   Each of the individual instructions of this passage have their roots in a faith filled yielded humble reliance upon God.

What primarily gets in the way of our praying without ceasing?    Is it not our pride, pride in our importance, in our important activities, in striving to get ahead, in striving to prove we are of significant value, or getting out from under some embarrassing or negative reflection upon ourselves?    Our primary problem with praying without ceasing is our unceasing preoccupation with ourselves and our image.

God desires that we become unceasingly preoccupied with Him, with His image, with His glory.     To worship Him unceasingly must be very near to praying without ceasing.   

Our application is to determine to seek humility.  One practical way is to resolve to develop an attitude of constantly seeking His glory.  It is possible to seek only one kind of glory at a time.   While we are seeking our glory we are completely unable to seek His glory.  Conversely when we seek His glory we are incapable of at the same time seeking our own.   Our divinely powerful resource for our bringing glory to God is the Holy Spirit. He is very intent and entirely able to bring through us great glory to our God.

‘Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”


God’s ancient but entirely accurate instruction stands on the downward stairway of the humbling of ourselves :   If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.”  -  2 Chronicles 7:14 (AMP) 

Jeff Williams