“Pray without ceasing”
I Thes. 5.17 ESV
‘One more’ prayer
During the Christmas holidays our grandson Luke, wife Meagan and their daughter, Clara Louise, our first great-grandchild, were in Dallas. She is 20 months old. One evening we were all gathered in the bedroom as they were putting her to bed. They said their usual prayers with her hands folded, of course. The prayer ended and Clara uttered ‘one more’ and held up her pinky indicating she wanted them to pray one more time. They did. We were told that was not her first time to do that. Pretty routine with her. Would be so special to be able to read her young thought process. For us, it was a special moment.
Of course, my mind raced to the verse shown here, familiar to Christians—“Pray without ceasing”. Wrapped around this single verse is, “Rejoice always” and then; “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”. Seems like Clara is getting this well at an early age. Rejoice always…pray without ceasing…give thanks in all circumstances. A godly formula for joyful and victorious living.
Paul is addressing his friends in Thessalonica for the last time. At the very end of this letter, he reminds them… “Brothers, pray for us”. Paul knew the effect of fervent prayer by God’s people. He coveted their prayer covering. And so should we. James exhorted the early church. “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” James 5.16b NKJV.
It is everything
Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, after he has exhorted them to put on the full armor of God, he encourages them this way. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” Eph. 6.18 NKJV. See, this is what Clara is saying to our family and to all of you, “just one more prayer’. A wise Puritan preacher once delivered a sermon, ‘Pray until you pray’. Similar message from Paul, James and little Clara Louise.
Finally, Jesus echoed the power of God in little children who were praising him in the temple. ‘And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?” Mt. 21.16b NKJV. Another Puritan preacher stated; ‘If prayer is anything, then it is everything’. True! God has given us the resource of prayer as means for him to actually allow us to be engaged as participants in his Kingdom work.
Never know what ‘one more prayer’ might accomplish today! Thanks Clara, keep reminding us!