Sunday, February 02, 2014

Praying Without Ceasing (PrayerLife)

Summer 2013, Green Lake, Wisconsin
1 Thessalonians 5:17

Pray without ceasing.

Pray continually.

Never stop praying.

How is this possible?

Here's how I think "praying without ceasing" works.

Last Sunday morning one of our worship guitarists introduced a song he wrote called "It's a New Day." One of the lines was (borrowing from the book of Hebrews) "Be bold and enter in," meaning enter in to God's presence. Then the chorus kicked in - "It's a new day, It's a new day." 

This week I have not been able to get that song out of my mind! The result has been that I'm viewing self, others, events, and God's creation through the lens of God's newness.

When you have a song in your mind like that it frames, like a movie score, your perceptions about self, others, events, and God's creation. I see "unceasing prayer" like that. Unceasing prayer is the inevitable fruit of prayers that have descended from your mind and become your heart. 

To discover "unceasing prayer":

1. Develop a consistent discipline of much time spent in prayer, this being done in a certain way. (Prayer is talking with God about what we are doing together.)

2. Then, the habit of much praying in a certain way will overflow into a life of unceasing prayer.

By "unceasing" I mean an increasing spiritual awareness concerning self, others, events, and God's creation. One gains eyes to see that "the whole earth is filled with His glory." This comes out of a deep prayer life, and issues in a near-continuous thanksgiving to God. The being-searched-out part of prayer issues forth in compassion towards others. The more one believes, existentially (in personal practice), that "prayer works," the more one thinks prayerfully about self, others, events and circumstances.

"Unceasing prayer" is a way of seeing. We view things sub specie aeternitatis. People who see things this way are pray-ers.