Have you ever been on a car ride with an individual and the person talks non-stop? You can’t get away from them as you are “stuck” there beside them. They wear you out with their talking. They don’t require you to say anything back. They can keep the conversation going without you saying a word. You insert a few courteously placed head gestures, facial expressions, and grunts which are absolutely not required.
Have you ever sat beside someone at work or in a meeting and all they did was cough? It wasn’t constantly, but intermittently without much lapse between. Worse, have you ever tried to sleep and just as you were drifting off, you cough? The cough cannot be stopped. No matter how many tears come to your eyes, you have to cough. It just has to be done.
These two annoying things help us understand how we are instructed to pray. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 instructs us to “pray without ceasing”. Three little words that seem so difficult unless we think about it in terms of someone in the habit of talking constantly or a cough that cannot be stopped no matter how hard you try.
John MacArthur says prayer is like breathing. It is easier for the Christian to do it than to not do it. When you hold your breath, it is not long before your body’s natural response is to breath. For the person who is in the habit of talking all the time, it would be harder to keep their mouth shut, than it is for them to talk. For someone who needs to cough, it is harder to not cough than to cough.
These things help us understand what is meant by the instruction pray without ceasing. It should be our natural response. It should be harder to stifle it than to let it flow.
How’s your prayer life? Do you have problem stifling prayer? Is your conversation with God consistent throughout the day. Are you aware of God’s presence with you always, that He never leaves you or forsakes you to the point that you ask Him about everything you’re engaged in throughout the day?
Jesus told the story of a widow and a wicked judge to help us understand how to pray and not to give up. The moral of the story is that Jesus wanted us to understand it is in incessantly coming to God that gets our prayers answered. It is the “constant conversation” that on a long car ride with someone who won’t shut up makes us uncomfortable; moves the God of the universe to do something on our behalf. It is the cough that cannot be stopped attitude that constantly asks God another time for that which only He can supply as He doles out the riches of Heaven on our behalf.
As you go throughout your day today, be in constant conversation to the Lover of your soul, the One who knows what you need even before you ask, and the One who is planning to spend eternity showing you all the favor He has for you.
Written By: Anne W. Gurley