Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

I recently discussed this verse with my students. As a Bible teacher my goal is to make things as simple as possible (Which can be hard at times). I encourage my students to pray for someone everyone time they leave a class. If they prayed every time they left a class, they would pray at least seven times a day. I insisted that the students choose someone to pray for. For example, the students could pray for mom and dad to have a good day at work, because you know that you will face the temptation to be rude and uncooperative with the people in your life who are not easy to get along with. Seven times the students leave class. That provides seven opportunities to pray for parents, siblings, teachers, and friends. By the time class ends the students are ready for a break and the last thing on their mind is prayer. But I like this method and I will continue to encourage it.

Since I am encouraging my students to do this I am making a commitment to something similar. For example, last evening before bed I determined that when I leave the house in the morning and as I close the door I would pray for my family, their safety, that they would have a good day, and for their spiritual growth. Did I pray this morning as I left my house? No, I completely forgot. Considering that I forgot something as important as prayer and my intentions to fulfill a commitment, I am certain that I must reiterate my encouragement to the students. Perhaps when I remind them to pray as they leave the classroom, I will also be reminded to pray.

As I continue to think about opportunities for prayer I want to encourage you/myself with this challenge. How many times a day do you leave the room to enter another? How many times do you leave the office or take a break?  How many times do you open the refrigerator door or cupboards? What an excellent opportunity to thank God for sustenance. These moments provide great opportunities to utter brief prayers and praise to our God. And if we take advantage of these opportunities we will experience the closeness and comfort of our Lord, and just maybe will boost our confidence in the effects of prayer and the faithfulness of God. I believe that we will experience blessing if we take the time to develop some sort of prayer plan that ensures ceaseless praying. I am not encouraging ritualistic prayer, but meaningful and thoughtful prayer that is generated by events in our day.

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