Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pray without ceasing

 It seems like lately I've been reminded so much of perseverance in prayer, from the pulpit, in books I read, in my devotional (shared below), and even in circumstances I find myself in......

"...use your health while you have it, do not cast away peculiar opportunities that may never come again. You know not when your last Sabbath may for eternity... remember it is God and not man that must have the glory. It is not much speaking, but much faith that is needed..."
From a letter written by Robert Murray M'Cheyne

                                                          "Pray without ceasing"
100_10911 Thessalonians 5:17

To pray without ceasing is not to be engaged in the duty of prayer at all times so that other duties are swallowed up in its place. It is to be in prayer at regularly set times and seasons (Genesis 8:22), and to observe a constant source of prayer at fixed and appointed times. To pray without ceasing is also to pray with importunity and emotion (Acts 12:5). The church was very earnest and persevering in praying for Peter. To pray without ceasing is also to take every opportunity through the day to send up a holy meditation. We may do this when we hear or read the word, or in whatever duty we are engaged, even in our earthly employments. If our heart and affections are heavenly, they will force out a prayer through the crowd and tumult of worldly business. There is a holy mystery in directing our employments through heavenly arrows of prayer. A Christian can be withdrawn and private, in the midst of a multitude. He can turn his shop or field into a closet, and he can trade for earth, and yet get heaven also in the bargain. Praying without ceasing is keeping our hearts in such a praying frame that we are always ready to pray. This is probably the most general sense and natural sense of the words of the apostle here: to have the habit of always freely and sweetly breathing out our requests unto God. It is to take all occasions to prostrate ourselves before the throne of grace. To do this we must certainly do two things:

 1.) be not too much in the business and pleasures of this life. The world with its affections must not be allowed to stifle and extinguish the holy flames ascending to heaven.

(2.) If we would maintain a praying temper, be careful not to fall into the commission of any known and presumptuous sin . The guilt of sin lying upon the conscience will exceedingly deaden the heart for prayer.
Ezekiel Hopkins
(Voices From the Past)

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"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Isaiah 55:6,8-1