Daily D – Psalm 105:4
Search for the LORD and for his strength; continually seek him. PSALM 105:4 (NLT)
Keep your eyes open for God, watch for his works; be alert for signs of his presence.
Last week, a young man was talking about prayer and its importance. He referenced 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing,” (KJV). He said he did not think that was possible, but we ought to pray a lot anyway. One of my favorite questions sought to leap from my mouth but was interrupted by other conversation. I wanted to ask, “If you were wrong, would you want to know?”
I am increasingly convinced that we can indeed “pray constantly,” (CSB). The problem is not with the duration. The problem is with intention and application.
Maybe we need to rethink what we mean when we talk about prayer. For some people, about the only praying they do is a perfunctory ritual at mealtime or bedtime. Or maybe they read what someone else prayed and think, “Yeah, that sounds good.”
Reorient your thinking on prayer for a moment. Instead of bite-sized chunks of speech or Grandma’s sweet hour, consider it an ongoing conversation about life. Invite Jesus to be present in your thoughts, reflections, and conversations. Think through every activity and engagement with him. What would honor him and serve others in each moment?
Our Father is with us wherever we are. We are never alone. If we choose to live this reality, we avail ourselves of his wisdom and his strength. He works most evidently in the lives of those who are open to what he wants. What he wants is always driven by his love, grace, and purpose. It is always the right and best that could happen.
How do you know you are moving into the zone of praying without ceasing? You are in no rush to say, “Amen.” You will likely only use that word when you pray publicly so that everyone will know you are finished and they can start eating.
Try an experiment today. Invite Jesus to enter into your every thought, your every conversation, and all of your activities. Ask him to help you see as he sees. Ask him to place his thoughts in your mind, his words in your mouth. In each situation, ask him what would honor him and serve others. Then do what he tells you. He will probably not speak out loud, but he will nudge you. He will give you the right ideas.
Remember, whatever he leads you to do, he will provide the strength to complete it.
Be alert for what God is doing all around you today. Ask him how you should join him. Step up and do what he says. Leave the results to him. Living like this requires an ongoing conversation with God. You might call it praying without ceasing.
I will live a prayer-filled life.
Our Father, deliver me from untimely Amens. Empower me to live every moment in conscious awareness of your presence and direction. Strengthen me for how you would have me serve in every circumstance. I want to join you in what you are doing to build a better world. Amen.
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Jeremiah 35:12-14 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Go and tell the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘Will you not learn a lesson and obey my words?’ declares the Lord. ‘Jehonadab son of Rekab ordered his descendants not to drink wine and this command has been kept. To this day they do not drink wine, because they obey their forefather’s command. But I have spoken to you again and again, yet you have not obeyed me.”
Psalm 78:70-72 He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; from tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.
Jeremiah 23:20-22 The anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand it clearly. I did not send these prophets, yet they have run with their message; I did not speak to them, yet they have prophesied. But if they had stood in my council, they would have proclaimed my words to my people and would have turned them from their evil ways and from their evil deeds.