How to Pray Continually
Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.
Today’s scripture challenges us to continually and consistently spend time with God. “… seek His face always.”
Time with God comes with benefits. You will always gain something positive and useful.
How well I remember visits to my grandmother’s house. Before we left, she always gave us gifts for the journey back home. Cakes, pies, cookies, and sandwiches for the road sufficient to feed a small army. She expressed love by giving. Visits resulted in benefits.
Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits — who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:2-5)
God ALWAYS has time for you.
Did you ever have a friend, family member, or co-worker who “wore out their welcome?” For whatever reason, you prefer to see less of that person.
When my wife and I were dating, we spent as much time together as Janet’s family would allow — and then some. I feel a Willie Nelson song coming on. She was Always On My Mind. Ah, young romantic love. How sweet it is. Fast forward ahead forty-six years. We’re still best friends and spend a lot of time together. But it’s common for her to tell me to give her a break, or get out of her kitchen, or she needs to be left alone. Yeah. I get on her nerves once in a while. It happens.
But we can never wear out or annoy God by spending too much time with Him. He’s never too busy or self-absorbed to avail His undivided attention. He desires our fellowship and wants to give to us from His inexhaustible resources, infinite wisdom, and supreme power.
Have trouble memorizing Bible verses? Here’s one that’s easy to remember. “Pray continually.” (1Thessalonians 5:17)
Paul amplifies his instruction in Ephesians 6:18. “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
Here we learn how continual prayer is possible. “… in the Spirit.” Continual prayer is ongoing dialogue with God “on all occasions” and addresses our thoughts and concerns, “all kinds of prayers and requests.” And it is not just about self, “… always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
Does God talk back? Sure. But I’ve never heard an audible voice. Years of Bible reading and study have entrenched his word in my mind and scriptures often surface in response to my thoughts and concerns.
I call these little inspirations, thought seeds from God. They encourage, give hope, rebuke, direct, or instruct and require added consideration/meditation. NOTE: if the seed thought is contrary to His word, it is not from Him.
God plants thoughts and ideas in our minds. Usually it’s a hindsight experience. Looking back, you realize that God was directing your path or giving you wise counsel.
An example would be The Forever Notebook. I originally began the project in 2010, as part of my morning quiet time with God. From that came a short-lived internet blog, ultimately abandoned and forgotten.
In February of 2017, I noticed a Facebook post from someone who was struggling with self-publishing. I volunteered to help her out, so she sent me the book she was trying to complete for an Alabama pastor.
His work brought my old quiet time project to mind. If only I had kept it. To my knowledge, all my notes and work were gone. But two days later, they appeared as if out of nowhere. Was God trying to tell me something? I was willing to find out. And so The Forever Notebook devotional series was born.
Get to work on that ongoing dialogue with God. Talk to Him now and continue to share your heart with Him throughout your day — every day. “… seek His face always.”
For more on this topic, check out this article: The Simple Heartfelt Prayer that Says It All
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 2 (April – June) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.