Never Say Amen
"Never stop praying." 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NLT)
"Are you still talking with her?" I asked my daughter Kaitlyn. She’d been texting with a friend for what seemed like hours.
She nodded and continued texting.
"I just don’t see how you can have that much to talk about. Does the conversation ever end?" I asked.
"Nope," she proudly exclaimed. "We never really end the conversation or say goodbye. We just take breaks and then pick back up later where we left off."
I rolled my eyes and suggested she force herself to take a break, or I might just help her take a really long break from her phone altogether. We chuckled as she slid the phone into her pocket.
As I thought back to her answer, it made me wonder about my conversations … particularly with God. How might my relationship with God grow if I simply never said, "Amen"? If I just kept the conversation going all day, picking back up where we left off or talking about new things?
In today’s key verse, Paul urges us to pray continually. Not because God requires it, but because our hearts long to feel close to Him.
Talking with God throughout the day invites Him into even the smallest details of our lives. Of course He doesn’t need us to fill Him in on our problems, prayer requests and praises. Instead, we receive the blessing because we will feel His presence throughout each and every day.
Just as my heart leaped at the idea of continual conversation with God, my mind chimed in with logistics: How can I possibly pray all the time when I obviously have other thoughts going through my mind? How can I stay focused on prayer in the midst of the chaos of work, to-do lists, daily obligations, frustrations, parenting and busyness?
Praying continually doesn’t mean we have to stay on our knees all day and never stop to do anything else. It simply means maintaining an attitude of prayer. A mindset that God is always there, like a trusted friend walking beside us or merely one text away. A friend with whom we can jump back into the conversation — with confidence that He will be there.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, "Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus" (NLT). Having a heart attitude of prayer simply means developing a focus on joy and gratitude.
When we focus on the good, instead of the bad, we develop a mental attitude of thankfulness. When our hearts are full of thankfulness for God, we will find ourselves longing to talk with Him more and more and learning to recognize His holy whispers.
We must be aware that Satan will do everything in his power to distract us and try to keep us from having an attitude of prayer and thankfulness. He knows the more time we spend talking with God, the more we will depend on Him and trust Him with our whole hearts.
I can keep my daughter from having a never-ending texting conversation, but no one can keep us from having an ongoing conversation with the Most High. Nothing can stand in the way of us conversing with God unless we let it, and prayer is a conversation worth continuing and never saying "Amen."
Lord, fill me with a desire to talk with You all day long and to feel Your Spirit leading me through our conversations. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Colossians 4:2, "Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart." (NLT)
Romans 12:12, "Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying." (NLT)
For tips and encouragement on growing closer to God and learning to hear His voice in the busyness of everyday life, consider purchasing Tracie Miles’ book Stressed-Less Living: Finding God’s Peace In Your Chaotic World.
Visit Tracie’s blog to download her free "7 Days of Prayer" printable to help you pray daily for your children, husband, work, finances and faith. Also, enter to win a copy of her book Stressed-Less Living!
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What is it that keeps you from talking to God more often? What can you do to change your mindset about praying without ceasing?
Consider the worries that have been heaviest on your heart, or those issues keeping you too busy or distracted to spend time in prayer. Open up a conversation with God about those things and invite Him into the details of your everyday life.