Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV).
Friend to Friend
Three ministers were talking about prayer and the most effective positions for prayer. As they were talking, a telephone repairman worked silently in the background.
One minister shared that he felt the key to powerful prayer was all in the hands. “I always hold my hands together and point them upward as a sign of worship,” he explained.
The second minister suggested that real prayer should always be conducted on the knees.
The third minister shook his head and said, “I’m afraid you both have it wrong. The only position worth its salt is to pray while stretched out flat on your face.”
As the three ministers solemnly contemplated the wisdom they had shared, the phone man put down his tools, approached the ministers and said, “I’ve been listening to you and just have to share something. I have found that the most powerful prayer I ever prayed was while I was dangling upside down by my heels from a power pole suspended forty feet above the ground.”
We try to make prayer complicated, but it really isn’t. Prayer is simply a conversation with God. And like the telephone repairman, our helplessness is our most powerful prayer. God listens for the voice of our need.
Prayer isn’t a religious exercise. Prayer is the declaration of our total dependence on God. When we pray, we are telling God we are desperate for Him. We are saying, “yes” to whatever the minute, day, or future holds … even before we know what that may be.
We need to pray continually! Paul says we are to pray “without ceasing.”
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV).
We don’t have to drop to our knees or close our eyes to pray. Prayer is the continual conversation between our heart and the heart of God … all day long. Below are some simple ways to incorporate prayer into your daily routine.
Walk, run, stretch, or cycle while you pray. Pray for the people in your neighborhood as you pass each house.
Sometimes we are too busy talking to hear what God has to say. Don’t let prayer become one-sided. Set aside time each day to clear your mind of all distractions, sit in God’s presence, and just listen for God’s voice.
Recruit a prayer partner. Whether in person, on the telephone, or online, the power of prayer can be multiplied when people come together.
Be a Child
What questions did you ask God when you were a child? If your prayer life feels stuck now, approach it as a child – with wonder, simple questions, trust, and even humor.
Practice Driving Prayer
Turn your time behind the wheel into prayer time. Ask God to guide your steps. As He brings people to mind, pray for them.
Native Americans have a saying: “Never let a day go by without touching the earth with your foot.” Take a short break for a slow prayerful walk. Nature tunes us into God’s presence.
Change Your Routine
If your prayer time is sandwiched between dinner and bedtime or homework and hobbies, rearrange your schedule so that prayer is the priority. The more important prayer is to us, and the more attention we give it, the stronger our relationship with God will grow.
Prayer should be our first response to any situation … not our last resort. It should be as natural as breathing. We should pray non-stop, especially for each other.
When you are in need, ask for prayer.
And when someone asks you to pray for them – pray.
Pray with them over the phone. Stop in the middle of the store or sidewalk and pray. Pray with your children on the way to school. Write a note of prayer. Ask your waiter or waitress how you can pray for them.
Make prayer a natural and ongoing part of your day and life.
Father, I confess that instead of praying, I try to work things out on my own. I turn to so many places when I should turn to You. Teach me to pray, Lord.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What is your biggest obstacle to a powerful prayer life? What step can you take to make prayer a priority?
More from the Girlfriends
If you need help learning how to pray, check out Dan Southerland’s book, Chair Time, a simple but life-changing approach to prayer.
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Be sure to connect with Mary through email or on Facebook.
© 2022 by Mary Southerland. All rights reserved.
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I am so guilty of not praying enough. I went through a situation on Sunday with my son and instead of asking God what to, I went ahead and got it into a real mess. There were things said that I was sorry on my part afterwards and I ask myself why didn’t you ask God to lead you through this. I guess there are times we don’t want to hear what God has to say. But I do need to work on turning to God with everything instead of turning to other places. I need to pray more and more and more.
I would like to ask for prayer, Mary. Thank you for this devotional. After a time of many losses (Dad, Mom, Sister, our business, my son to drugs and gambling – he didn’t die, but still a loss) I feel dead inside. My time with God is so empty. I’m not angry with Him, but when I sit to read His Word it takes much concentration as I lose interest so quickly. These things happened within 5 years. Thank you, Mary, and praying sisters for your prayers!
Dear Joy, Please know I prayed for you this morning and will continue to lift you up. God never leaves nor forsakes us. And NEVER is a very long time. May our Lord be close.
Joy, I am praying for your joy, healing and peace through your grief. Remember, too, as long as your son is alive, he IS REDEEMABLE THROUGH JESUS THE CHRIST! He’s not lost yet! Keep praying for him. I would also covet your prayers for my husband and me. Thank you. Love you, Sister!
I’m praying for each of you. Sometimes I seem to just be saying words by rote instead of truly speaking to God. But it’s so comforting to remember He knows my heart when I can’t seem to pray and to remember He sent His Holy Spirit to make intercession for each one of us. God bless you all.
Oh, Dear Joy….
I pray that Father God will reveal Himself to you today.
Have to agree with Terri, as long as your son is living he can be a saved child of God, through Jesus. I myself walked away from God for over 30yrs.! Talk with God just like He is sitting with you, use a chair to sit in front of you, and pour your broken heart out to Him.
This is a great passage, from Paul:”We are pressed on every side by troubles, but not crushed or broken. We are perplexed because we don’t know why things happen as they do, but we don’t give up and quit. We are hunted down, but GOD NEVER abandons us….”(LBT) (This passage from 2 Corin.4:8-9, is my “rocky balboa” verse!)
Keep praying through your grief, and don’t listen to the enemy!
I’m praying for you, an praying that God gives you peace today.
I do, too, Sheila! I think we all struggle with not praying enough. You would think I would know by now that He should be my first response instead of my last resort! I am a stubborn lamb!
Oh my word! I just could not love you women more. The way you have jumped in to minister to Joy. I could not add one thing to what they have shared except … do not depend on your feelings or emotions. When it comes to praying, they are irrelevant. What matters is your obedience to the Father. He hears … His heart weeps for you … and He will move to answer your prayers.
Joy, my prayer team will be lifting you up in prayer, too!
This passage in 1Thes.had always baffled me How can I rejoice always, in EVERYTHING give thanks and to pray without ceasing. This passage came alive for me when I was kidnapped and kept in an unknown destination for thirty days.
During my captivity I had no bible. I just found myself talking to God as if He was by my side. When being interrogated for example I would say Lord tell me the answer. I don’t remember having had any long prayer session but I remember that I prayed throughout the day and good part of the night. Since my rescue it has been my prayer that I would continue to thankful in ALL situations and to pray without ceasing. I learnt the importance of praying for those who ask me to pray for them.
I was rescued by divine intervention because very many people prayed for me. Even people I had never met and might never meet prayed for me. Thank you for the practical advice on continual praying.
Thank you, dear sisters in Christ! Tears of thanks and appreciated rolled down my cheeks as I read your heartfelt responses. Thank you so much for caring enough to respond. I know others are praying too even if they didn’t respond in writing. God is good.
Thanks to all of you for sharing, and I lift all of you up in prayer this morning. This is one of my steadfast Bible verses, and one of the most challenging to adhere to…give thanks continually?!…even in the hard times?! Yes and Amen! The beauty of aging is wisdom and maturity. I would never be where I am in my faith if it wasn’t for the tough times that made me solely reliant on Him. Why do we make it so hard for ourselves by just not surrendering to him in the first place? Oh right, we’re human! I love how you all felt compelled to share, which I truly believe was God led. Blessing to you all even though I am reading this a few days after the post.
I enjoyed all of you sharing your stories… We All go through trials & tribulations in our life… I believe God allows these times in our lives so that we deepen our Faith in Him & learn to Trust Him with His Plan for our lives. I have had 14 surgeries in the last 23 years, have broken both wrist, my nose, my shoulder, had several skin cancers surgically taken off, had neck surgery and a double Mastectomy and have had to have several revisions over the past 11 years…. This has made me to be much more Empathetic & Compassionate to others that may be going through the same thing, or just health issues in general! I am a Prayer Warrior, and pray for several people that are going through health issues or just difficult times. People are much more appreciative than you can imagine! I share with them the Miracles I have seen in my Life (5 just in my family alone) me being one of them! Almost 10 years ago at the age of 55, I had several blood clots in both legs that travel thru my heart and into both lungs!! Most people die with one blood clot passing into their lungs! I had 6 Doctors tell me that I should’ve died! I said, “I think God had another Plan!” We all go through things in our lives so that we can help someone else out when they are going through difficult times…
I pray for Wisdom & Discernment for all of us, so that we can be BOLDER IN WITNESSING TO OTHERS.. Whatever you are going through, just know that GOD NEVER ABANDONS US! One of my favorite verses is what I call THE 10 FINGER PRAYER…”I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME” Phillipians 4:13 (I think). Anyway, LOVE & BLESSING TO YOU ALL