Pray Without Ceasing

Several verses in the Bible mention praying without ceasing. As Christians are wont to do, we attempt to make this verse not say what it clearly says.

I’ve heard many explanations how this verse does not mean that we should pray without ceasing. The most famous loopholing says that this verse refers to the Holy Spirit interceding.

I doubt this highly. If that’s what it refers to, why does he tell us to do it? It’s like telling people to digest food. How can I make myself not digest food to the extent that someone would have to tell me to do so?

Praying without ceasing means, get this, we should pray without ceasing.

Take a break. Relax. I know I just blew your mind there. Feel free to continue reading when you feel up to it.

If you click on the link of verses above, you will notice that Paul says he prays without ceasing for the believers in Rome and for Timothy.

OK, clearly Paul is lying here! How can you without ceasing pray for two groups of people? When you are praying for Tim, you can’t be praying for Rome!

Does this mean Paul never prays about anything else except Tim and Rome? No, I don’t think so.

To pray without ceasing means to have a continual talk with God all the time. “Everything by prayer.” Our goal is to be in constant fellowship with God. Impossible? It probably is literally, but I don’t think it’s an outrageous command.

Who wouldn’t want to have a constant communion with God? We know that with the Spirit’s intercession we have all we need to do this.

The fact that we don’t is to our shame. The fact that we feel we need to change what the Bible clearly says by inventing some alternate meaning is even more to our shame.

2 thoughts on “Pray Without Ceasing”

  1. I found one other paragraph which explains this verse:

    “The apostle exhorted the Thessalonians to “pray without ceasing.” 1 Thess. v. 17. He did not exhort others to do that which he did not do himself, for he told the Romans that without ceasing he made mention of them always in his prayers. It is not to be supposed that the apostle had the brethren at Rome on his mind every waking hour of the day, for in that case he could not have thought of anything else. No man can be consciously in prayer every moment, but all can continue “instant in prayer,” or, as Young translates it, “in the prayer persevering.” Rom. xii. 12. This is in harmony with what the Saviour said, that “men ought always to pray, and not to faint,” or grow weary. Luke xviii. 1. In the parable that follows, the unjust judge complains of the “continual coming” of the poor widow. That is an illustration of praying without ceasing. It is not that we are to be every moment in conscious prayer, for then important duties would be neglected, but it is that we should not grow weary of praying.” – E.J. Waggoner, The Present Truth, June 28, 1894.

    I don’t think this is against the point you are making, it works with it. For if the Lord is not in our thoughts constantly, then we would certainly “grow weary of praying.”

    One condition to receiving answers in prayer is to “hunger and thirst after righteousness.” When God’s work is all important and everything circles around it, then I am more likely to understand His will and feel with Him.

    One danger I see, and I think you mentioned it before, is that religion becomes a thing which primarily is all about “my personal salvation,” as if the whole kingdom of God circled around me. This is not the case. Human salvation was part of the plan, but the battle between truth and error started well before humans were ever created. One of the first things Jesus prayed in the Lord’s Prayer was “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.”

    We need to center around God’s work, about His plan to free the whole universe from the lies that Satan has introduced. Then our prayers will have a better aim, and be closer to God’s purposes.

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