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Expect To Pray Unceasingly

The Expectation to Pray Unceasingly

“A Normal Spiritual Life”
God raises the bar beyond human accomplishment to an uninterrupted conversation with Him. He creates a commitment of constant communication with us as we participate in the benefits of the New Covenant. World religions drive followers to seek out little windows of prayer time during the day. Mandatory dress requirements, kneeling and facing a proper direction, praying at the exact time of day and for the proper lengths of time are put in place to create religious moments with people. On the other hand, authentic Christianity ignores religious moments and instead immerses us into ongoing streams of conversation with God who loves us so much that nothing less than total intimacy will suffice. The South African Dutch Reformer, Andrew Murray (1828-1917) once said, “A life of unceasing prayer is the secret of a life of victory. Praying always in the Spirit is the mark of a normal spiritual life.” If his comment is true, why isn’t this standard shared more often? Why is this not taught as the foundation of our prayer life? Perhaps it’s not because it is rarely noticed as an imperative, infrequently experienced and rarely modeled.
Mission Impossible on our Own
God’s supernatural expectation for the believer is to pray without ceasing! He expects, and demands an uninterrupted conversation with us! In His realm, prayer is not an occasional effort, but a constant discussion about Life. The ability to accomplish this goal can only be met through the work of the Holy Spirit. In contrast, prayer in the corporate religious structure is frequently a tedious exercise of regimented routines, driven by obligation that tends to impose guilt if the expectations are unmet.

In most cases, when we come to passages that demand more than humanly possible, religion will interpret the verses with the following concept. “I will venture to live the Christian life as best I can (since God grades on a curve), and I will solicit a little help from the Helper (Holy Spirit) when I run into some difficulties.” As I frequently suggest to people, “Christianity isn’t difficult, it is impossible.” Since that is how God designed it, He converts the impossible to the possible through Jesus. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13) Prayer now becomes unending conscious and unconscious activity as we “rest in Christ.”
Church at the Lodge (Sunday’s; @ 9:30 a.m.)
Bill Rose, 530-392-5012; bill@ChurchAtTheLodge.com;
www.ChurchAtTheLodge.com
Conversations in Christ (Radio Show, KNCO, Sunday’s @ 8:30 a.m.)
www.ConversationsInChrist.org

The Expectation to Pray Unceasingly (Text)
I. The high bar of perfection in prayer set by God.

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (I Thessalonians 5:16-18)
12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer; (Rom 12:12)
15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. (Hebrews 13:15)
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; (Philippians 4:6)
II. Immersed in God’s unceasing flow of communication
27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (Gal. 3:27)
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (Jn.1:14)

III. Our Guarantee of this continual relationship
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12: 1-2). 5Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”[a (Hebrews 13:5)

IV. God fulfills His desire of unceasing prayer through Himself
26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us[a] with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8: 26-27)

V. “Always” in prayer for others
4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, ( 1 Corinthians 1:4)

9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers, (Romans 1:9)

About Denny Rough

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