“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
The scripture is flooded with commands to pray without ceasing. But there is a lot of disagreement about what “praying without ceasing” actually means.
Some say that the term just means that we need to not lose heart and keep praying through difficult times. Others say that Paul meant that we should live in continual, unbroken fellowship with God.
In this article, I’m going to be addressing what praying without ceasing actually is, and how to walk it out.
What “Praying Without Ceasing” Is
Praying without ceasing means exactly what it says. It is continual, unbroken communion with God. It is making our daily walk, a walk of prayer.
The apostle Paul wrote dozens of exhortations to the churches of his day on the subject of prayer, and almost every time his writing denotes continual fellowship with God.
Not meet with God for an hour in the morning and then forget about Him throughout your day, but living in His presence. Making everywhere we go a place of encounter with the living God.
Here are a few scriptural examples:
“Praying ALWAYS with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Ephesians 6:18).
“Be anxious for nothing, but IN EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Phillipians 4:6).
“Pray WITHOUT CEASING, in EVERYTHING give thanks” (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18).
“I thank my God upon EVERY REMEMBRANCE of you, ALWAYS in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy” (Phillipians 1:3-4).
Notice, in each of the scriptures listed above Paul puts language such as: “in everything, always, without ceasing, every remembrance.” If you study it out, you’ll find that at every place Paul mentions prayer, language such as this will be there.
If we truly take these scriptures to heart, it’ll be difficult not to pray without ceasing. Think about it. How do you pray and thank God about everything, and everyone that you remember, and not be continually praying?
How to “Pray Without Ceasing”
There are four main ways that I have found that helped me grow in continual fellowship with God. But let me address something first.
The number one way to pray in this way is to have our mind fixed on God, and the best way to do that is to be consuming the Word of God. Nothing gets our hearts right and fixed on Jesus better than the Word.
Now that I have said that, we can jump into the more practical tips that regard praying.
Tip #1: Giving Thanks for Everything
Just like I mentioned earlier in the scriptures above, giving thanks for everything is one of the key ways we live in close fellowship with the Father.
We have been given so much from the Father, so it should be easy to show Him our appreciation. We’ve been given righteousness, salvation, the Spirit of God, the Word of God, the family of God (the Body of Christ). Not to mention all the natural things He’s provided.
Thank Him for these things daily. You’re positivity will improve, along with your joy. But more importantly, your fellowship with a loving Father.
Tip #2: Praying at All Times in the Spirit
Ephesians 6:18 tells us to “pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”
What does praying in the Spirit mean?
Well, the apostle Paul wrote that verse to the Ephesian church, so lets look at another place where he used that same language to understand that term more clearly.
“For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful. What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also” (1 Corinthians 14:14-15).
In this passage of scripture Paul is explaining to the church in Corinth that speaking in tongues edify’s the speakers spirit, but it doesn’t edify the speakers mind (1 Corinthians 14:4,14).
But notice the language in the passage above. Paul uses the term “praying in tongues” and “praying in the spirit” interchangeably. Now realize this is the same author writing in 1 Corinthians and in Ephesians, so there is no reason to believe these terms don’t mean the same thing.
Praying in the Spirit is speaking in tongues, and we are called to pray in the Spirit at all times.
Tip #3: Whenever You Think of Someone, Intercede
I mentioned this one a little earlier, and that is to intercede for others whenever you think of them. Or as the apostle Paul says,
“I thank my God upon EVERY REMEMBRANCE of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy” (Phillipians 1:3-4).
It is important to pray for other believers and even non-believers (Ephesians 6:18). This is a very easy tip, but it can definitely benefit your prayer walk.
Tip #4: Get Alone with God
“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:6).
There are two aspects to intimacy with God: Praying throughout the day and praying in the secret place.
They each feed off each other. It’ll be difficult to pray throughout the day if you don’t spend alone time with God, and you’ll be much more focused in the secret place if you commune with God throughout your day.
In short, enter the presence of God and then never leave. Learn to cultivate a habit of talking with God and your spiritual life will be greatly enhanced.