WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
APRIL 19, 2023
TOPIC: EIGHT REASONS YOU SHOULD PRAY WITHOUT CEASING
BY T. O. BANSO
“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17 New King James Version).
The subject of prayer is important in every religion. The only difference has to do with who the adherents pray to. Are they praying to the living God or their gods and will they get answers to their prayers?
In 1 Kings 18, the prophets of Baal prayed to their god but he didn’t answer them. Verse 26 says, “So they took the bull which was given them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even till noon, saying, ‘O Baal, hear us!’ But there was no voice; no one answered. Then they leaped about the altar which they had made” (New King James Version).
These prophets of Baal prayed to a deaf god! He couldn’t hear and, therefore, couldn’t answer them. “And so it was, at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, ‘Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.’ So they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them. And when midday was past, they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention” (verses 27-29 New King James Version). They only wasted their time and injured themselves unnecessarily.
When they were done with their unfortunate drama, Elijah took his turn in the contest and God answered him by fire. “And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said, ‘LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that You are the LORD God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.’ Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench” (verses 36-38 New King James Version).
The true God answers prayers and there is the need to pray to Him without ceasing. Luke 18:1 says about Jesus: “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart” (New King James Version). The phrase “not lose heart” means not to faint or lose hope, or never give up. We should always pray. We should cultivate a lifestyle of prayer – pray always and persist in praying over issues, including praying for others (intercession), and not be discouraged if the answers don’t come quickly.
You can only round off a session of prayer but you can never finish praying! I mean that there will be one issue or the other to pray over. Don’t say because you prayed yesterday or in the morning, you won’t pray again. As long as there is an issue to pray about, pray. Sometimes ago, somebody became weary after a long period of praying concerning his life without seeing the expected results. He went to try some alternatives but his condition became worse so he returned and resumed praying,
Never stop praying because the answer has not come. Also, don’t stop praying because your answer has come. The prayer point will change after the answer to your prayer has come. Whatever is good or bad needs prayer. Be wise. Beware of spiritual slumber. Matthew 13:25 says while men slept, a man’s enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8 New King James Version). Also, the Apostle Paul said in Colossians 4:2, “Don’t be weary in prayer; keep at it; watch for God’s answers, and remember to be thankful when they come” (The Living Bible).
Paul also said in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing” (New King James Version). In other words, never stop praying, pray continually, pray perseveringly, or be persistent and consistent in prayer. “Never stop praying, especially for others. Always pray by the power of the Spirit. Stay alert and keep praying for God’s people” (Ephesians 6:18 Contemporary English Version). As you pray without ceasing, don’t be selfish in prayer by praying for yourself only. Pray for others also.
Writing to the Christians in Rome, Paul said, “God has seen how I never stop praying for you, while I serve him with all my heart and tell the good news about his Son” (Romans 1:9 Contemporary English Version). Similarly, in the Old Testament, the Prophet Samuel told the Israelites that he would never stop praying for them as this would be sinning against the Lord (1 Samuel 12:23). Never stop praying. Pray without ceasing.
Daniel 6:10 says Daniel prayed three times a day. David said he would pray in the evening and morning and at noon, and cry aloud, and God would hear his voice (Psalm 55:17). Jesus said to pray without ceasing.
That doesn’t mean you should be praying for 24 hours nonstop and not do anything else but you should acknowledge the importance of prayer, cultivate a lifestyle of praying, persevere in prayer, and never give up praying. Concluding His teaching on praying without ceasing, using, as an illustration, the widow who got justice against her adversary from the unjust judge because of her importunity, Jesus said, “And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily” (Luke 18:7-8a New King James Version).
Why should you pray without ceasing?
1. God is Spirit. John 4:24 says, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (New King James Version). You can’t see God physically to talk to. The only way of communicating with Him is prayer whether it is the prayer of petition, intercession, thanksgiving, or worship. Communication is vital in any relationship.
2. The devil is a spirit. You cannot see the devil or Satan physically also but he is real. He has a spiritual body. “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them” (Job 1:6 New King James Version). The devil is a spirit creature and is here on the earth. “Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time” (Revelation 12:12 New King James Version). And as long as you live, he is against you! And the only way to deal with him is through prayer.
The devil is a spirit. In Mark 5, when Jesus sent out the demons from the madman of the Gadarenes, the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine of about two thousand. The herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea and drowned in the sea (verse 13). Pray without ceasing. The devil is real but Jesus has defeated him (Colossians 2:15).
3. Life is spiritual and the spiritual controls the physical. Hebrews 11:3 says, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (New King James Version). Life is more than what you see with your physical eyes. A lot happens in the spiritual realm. And prayer is crucial to operating in this realm. Pray without ceasing.
4. There are some secrets you don’t know about yourself others, and things that only God knows. As you pray without ceasing, God will reveal some things to you. “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29 New King James Version).
People and things are not always what they first appear to be. You need to pray continually for God’s guidance and help. Jeremiah 17:9 says the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it? God knows everything so ask Him in prayer. He knows how everything that appears good or bad now will end. He declares the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). Pray without ceasing.
5. There are things impossible for you but not for God. The words of Jesus in Matthew 19:26 and Mark 10:27 support this. He said in Mark 14:36a, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You” (New King James Version). Not all things are possible for you by your power. You will always need God and the only way to ask for His help is by continuing to pray to Him.
6. Jesus says you should pray without ceasing. We have seen in Luke 18 that Jesus said we should pray without ceasing. Jesus gave us the example of praying without ceasing by regularly going to the mountain to pray (Matthew 14:23; Mark 6:46; Luke 6:12; 9:28). But He also taught His disciples how to pray. In Luke 11:1-4, after seeing Jesus’ life of prayer, one of His disciples requested Him to teach them how to pray and He did. Pray without ceasing. Jesus said you should ask, and it would be given to you; He said you should seek and you would find and knock, and it would be opened to you. Everyone who asks receives, he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Pray without ceasing (Matthew 7:7-8).
7. Some things will never happen or happen at the right time in your life or the lives of others if you don’t pray without ceasing. If the widow in Luke 18 had not persisted, she wouldn’t have received justice from the unjust judge. God is just, merciful, and kind. Prayer will avert or remove delay and cause God’s will for your life or your request to become a reality in time. Pray without ceasing.
In Matthew 17:14-21, Jesus told His disciples that they couldn’t cast away the demon spirit in a boy because of their unbelief but also added, “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting” (Verse 21 New King James Version).
In Daniel 9:3, Daniel turned to God and pleaded with Him in prayer and petition, fasting, and sackcloth and ashes about the fulfilment of the promise to return the Jewish exiles in Babylon to their land. Pray without ceasing for prophecies and God’s promises to be fulfilled. Don’t say that God will do it when it’s time and you don’t need to pray without ceasing.
8. The devil has not stopped being the devil! The devil is still in the ministry of stealing, killing, and destroying (John 10:10). When the devil is still busy doing his ministry, why must you stop praying without ceasing? Pray without ceasing; pray continually.
Are you persuaded by these reasons that you should pray without ceasing? Pray without ceasing; pray perseveringly; pray night and day; be persistent and consistent in prayer. Don’t be weary.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, deliver me from weariness in prayer. Empower me to pray without ceasing. Help me to continue to pray for myself and others. Let me not be selfish or unfaithful in praying for others. I shall be awake spiritually; the enemies shall not sow tares among my wheat in Jesus’ name.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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