Paul served up a series of powerful, stirring and urgent advice or recommendations (aka - commands) in his closing words to the Thessalonians church. Listed in this series are these words, "Rejoice always, Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks." Today we will focus mostly on Pray without ceasing.
1 Thessalonians 5:12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil. 23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. 25 Brethren, pray for us.
9 Biblical Prayer Directives, commands or instructions
1. Pray continually - A lifelong command or instructions for life, a lifetime. As a believer we are urged, instructed or commanded to maintain close, consistent communication with God through prayer (morning, noon, night - Daniel 6:10 Example). We are to always be in an attitude of prayer, alert to and conscious of God's invisible presence.
2. Pray continually - giving thanks in everything. Why this instructions in dealing with prayer? Prayer can be dominated by a legitimate, vital and biblically commanded aspect of prayer, ASKING. But just as our attitudes need balance, so must our prayer be balanced. Therefore, prayer should include an abundance of thanksgiving, constant thanksgiving and rejoicing consistently - always. We are to rejoice due to the many blessings that God provides, deliverance He performs and even the trials He allows us to encounter or endue. Now pastor, I was going along with you until you said that. He used trials to help mold and fashion us into the image of Christ (Romans 8: 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren).
We are to give God thanks for His mercies in those difficult times of trials. Why? Because we know something about our Father's Purposes, Plans and Provisions (Romans 8: 28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” • 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord). (James 1: 2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing).
To be a Christian, perfect and complete lacking nothing without having trials/testings is no more possible than the Democrats and Republicans being in total agreement - Harrold.
I shared another message, not long ago about (10-22, & 11-12-17 Knowing that God Loves You, The Key to Answered Prayers); Knowing that God LOVES us and how much He LOVES us takes priority over the size/quantity of our FAITH. Knowing God, releases Cabin Pressure. Cabin Pressure - the struggles we often have with praying, correctly, in faith and frequently or CONTINUOUSLY, without ceasing with the right attitude.
Are we willing to admit that we are afraid to prayer as Jesus did, "Thy will be done?" God just might answer that prayer and I am not sure that I am ready for that, especially at this point in my life. That could means some more hard stuff and I have about had it, enough, already, okay GOD!
3. Pray continually - do not faint. Jesus urged us to keep praying even when our problems or urgent needs do not seem to change right away, immediately. Luke 18:1 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 2 saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. 3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ 4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, 5 yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’”
4. Pray continually - 1 Peter 5:6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
5. Pray continually - Matthew 6: 7And when you pray, (but) do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
6. Pray continually - Mark 11: 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. 25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, (not with a heart of un-forgiveness) forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.
7. Pray continually - Matthew 6:5 “And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may (not to) be seen (admired) by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward.
8. Pray continually - Matthew 5:44 •But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. This may very well help you and change your perspective by realizing that your enemies are often facing problems more challenging than the troubles, persecutions and difficulties they inflict on you.
9. Pray continually - Matthew 26:40 Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
These are some of the instructions or commands in the will of God to us as Christians. We are to or should Rejoice, PRAY and Give thanks continuously, always, without ceasing and in everything because it is our Father's will for us, His Christ-like Christian family. He desires our fellowship leading to forgiveness, peace, guidance, Spiritual gifts, rest for our soul and the fullness of His Spirit, God, the Holy Spirit's baptism.
Pastor Harrold Preyer