Today is my birthday. I joke that it will be my last one, since if you knew my birthdate you would see that I am now 59. This is the last year left to my pre-senior days. One thing is sure. Time is inexorable.
I want to be able to post something this weekend on the third part of my Thessalonian triumverant, pray without ceasing. At least that has been unceasingly on my mind since I was reminded of it in my earlier postings. It is not that prayer hasn’t been on my mind (and my lips), but I cannot remember what I found so unique when I first started down that road last year. One conclusion I have come to though, it is impossible to consciously pray continuously and do anything else of substance, say like my job. I get focused on something and two or three hours go by before I realize it. That is not unceasing prayer, unless being true to God in all that we think, say, and do is really a prayer.
I used to reject that a life well lived was a prayer, since Jesus lived the best of lives and yet he still went off and prayed. However, I do not think God would make a demand on us that his Son did not satisfy first. So how did Jesus pray continually? And if he did, how was it different than the times he went off alone to pray? These are not trite questions, since they deal with a command of God, something we as Christians should try to our uttermost to accomplish.
I don’t have an answer this morning. I need to go to bed and I want to sleep in tomorrow morning. I don’t get that opportunity often. But, this command of God is continually before me and I hope to learn how I can meet that demand, which the Lord has placed on all who name his name, and I want to meet it honestly and completely.
Grace and peace and I hope you too get a good night’s rest.
Happy Birthday, William. In the UK when you turn sixty you get a free bus pass. So, there is something to look forward to after all.
One thing comes to mind on prayer…and I’m a bit rushed as I write…is the part listening plays in the conversation with God. As you know, to pray without ceasing means more than speaking without ceasing. Perhaps our abiding, if we are abiding, in a patient spirit, waiting on God within while all is active without, perhaps this too is one aspect of ceaseless prayer. But I think you have already aluded to this; I’m just saying it in my own way.
Enjoy your sleep-in, old fella.
Jan, thank you for the birthday greeting.
As you know, I do not consider prayer a conversation with God, at least not in the sense of a talk around the kitchen table. If anyone with whom I was conversing suddenly thought I was praying to them, then something would have changed in the tenor, tone and content of our discussion and that is for me what separates prayer from talking to God. I hope that clarifies.
Re: Conversation with God
I think I understand you to say our prayer to God is not a “conversation” among equals and I agree.
Do you think of your prayer with Christ as talking to a friend, as he called his disciples? Can we use the word conversation in this sense, without excluding reverence?
I’m also thinking of the wide range of feeling we experience in prayer, anywhere from despair through joy, through condemnation to peace.