Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pray Without Ceasing? How?

Thessalonians5:17 tells us to "Pray without ceasing." I'll be the first to admit that I am terrible about this.

Now, this verse isn't necessarily saying that we must be in constant verbal and mental conversation with God because that just isn't possible. You can't hold two conversations at once, and if you can, well you are one of the few.
What God (the three in one-Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) wants is a relationship with us, to be the biggest part of our day, to be in conversation with us, and the one guiding us. This only comes through continual conversation.

Prayer is like our cell phones. If you are like me, my cell phone is always in my pocket, I'm constantly checking the time and new messages, and if I forget it at home I feel sort of naked. Prayer should be the same way- constantly checking in with God.

Prayer is like talking to a best friend too. I love that I can call up Nikki and tell her about my day, from the most insignificant trifles to the catastrophes. God wants to hear it all, and not just when you tuck yourself in at night and remember at the last minute to thank Him for your day, but continually without ceasing.

There are a lot of things that remind me to talk to God.
-A beautiful sunrise, or light filled clouds bring praises of his beauty.
-Children's smiles and laughter make me thank him for his creation.
-Ambulance sirens remind me to pray for the health and safety of others-family, friends and strangers.

But there is one strange little thing that just reminds me to talk to Him, to say "hi" and just talk. It may be silly, but squirrels remind me to pray.
I love them, with their big bushy tails and quick playful movements. They fill me with joy. God began "communicating" with me/reminding me of His presence with squirrels at a cross country meet.

As most people know, I am not a long distance runner, I was built for speed and savor the 100 meter dash. But here I was in a 4 mile race, my knees and shins and hips hurt, I was angry and humiliated to be in last place and I wasn't in any mood to smile. But then God sent a big grey squirrel to run directly in front of me and up a tree. It was like He was saying, "I know it hurts, but remember I Am still here."
I didn't experience immediate healing, or go on to run my fastest race ever, but I was humbled and happy to be running in His presence.

So what is it that reminds you to pray? If you don't have a "prayer trigger" pick something (I started by picking Ambulances) and pray that God would send you a reminder, a glimpse of His presence.


  1. Aw, I think it's cute that squirrels are your prayer reminder. :)

    I'm not a religious person in the strictest sense, but I am spiritual, and consider myself an agnostic. While I may still not be able to say with certainty that there is a God, I feel like I need there to be, and the idea of Him not existing makes me feel like a small child separated from my parent in a store. I like the idea of someone (or something) bigger watching out over me. It gives me comfort. But I've realized from past experience that wanting to believe in God and actually believing in God are two different things. I can't force it; believe me, I've tried. So at this point in life, I sort of check in every now and then in case someone's listening, and thank him for the good things in my life. I do know that I, personally, don't believe in Creationism and do believe in Evolution, but I also keep my mind open to the idea of Intelligent Design, which doesn't necessarily have to equal Creationism. It simply means that some higher power was involved in the design of our Universe. I'm someone who needs to see things, or evidence of those things, to believe them and for them to seem real to me; in all cases, not just in religion, so some of the things that make me think of God most are scientific in nature. I actually found that I feel closer to God through geometry and cosmology. I find that kind of funny since math and I have sort of a love/hate relationship. :P But it's specifically, the Golden Ratio and the Fibonacci sequence that make me stop and marvel. If you haven't heard of the Golden Ratio, here's a link: http://www.mathsisfun.com/numbers/golden-ratio.html The idea that this ratio is found all throughout nature makes me feel that there HAS to be some sort of intelligent force behind it. Trying to think of something so mathematical as random makes my head spin just as much as trying to force myself into believing in God directly. It's the times that I step back and appreciate the little things in nature that I feel closer to God. When I see ice crystals forming on a window on a cold morning, or examine the texture of the inside walls of a bell pepper (you should've seen how excited I got over that one when I was at my grandma and aunt's house helping with Easter dinner; there were many photos taken).

    So while I might not have the sense of certainty that you do, I do still have a relationship with God in my own way and sometimes I'll see the occasional "sign." :-)

    Wow, that turned out so much longer than I intended; but then, that's usually how writing goes with me. :P Thanks for the opportunity to step back and reflect. Maybe seeing this post, in and of itself, was a sign from God that I should be paying more attention to him.

    1. Thanks so much for your comment and honesty! I love that you also see God in His creation and I am likewise boggled by the Golden Ratio. You are very correct in saying that you cannot force yourself to believe in God and nor will He force you to believe or have a relationship with Him. you are also right in that it is two different things to want to believe and actually believing, but it is the first step. I can only encourage you to specifically pray that He would reveal Himself to you more fully and help you to believe. In Jeremiah 29:13 God promises that if we whole-heartedly seek after Him we will find Him. Do not despair in your search and I will be praying for you.

  2. I'm often reminded to pray through seeing small things throughout my day. Whether a song on the radio reminding me of God's great promises, or the beauty of the nature I see all around me.

    The rain reminds me so much of God's grace. I used to see the rain as this big wet gross thing I had to endure a majority of the year. But NOW, I see rain and an unending flow of God's grace that pours down on me with love, to cleanse me and make me new.

    Little things, like walking through campus and seeing someone who I connect with in that moment. I say a small prayer for them, for their life, for them to know God.

    It's small, but I know all these little things are heard and treasured by the Lord.

    I really just LOVE talking to him. God really is my best friend and I do not know where I would be without him.


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