WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 16, 2021
TOPIC: PRAY WITHOUT CEASING
BY T. O. BANSO
“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17 New King James Version).
In Luke 18, Jesus told His disciples a parable to illustrate to them the need to pray constantly. In the parable, the judge, who was a godless man with great contempt for everyone, eventually decided to get justice for the widow who came to him repeatedly, appealing for justice against someone who had harmed her.
The judge, who initially ignored this widow, answered the woman because she was persistent. In conclusion, Jesus asked if His disciples didn’t think that God would surely give justice to His chosen people who pleaded with Him day and night.
The apostle Paul, writing in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, says, “Pray without ceasing” (New King James Version). The New Living Translation says, “Keep on praying.” Another version of the New Living Translation says, “Never stop praying.” The Revised Standard Version renders it as “Pray constantly.” The Amplified Bible says, “Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly].” That doesn’t mean that you should pray continuously, 24 hours, each day of the year. Obviously, this is not possible. What that scripture says is to have a prayerful attitude and to be consistent and constant in prayer.
During His earthly ministry, Jesus never ceased to pray, though He didn’t pray 24 hours of the day. Jesus did not only have the habit of closet prayer; He prayed in public but didn’t engage in exhibitionism (Matthew 6:5; Luke 18:10-14). His public prayers were not for personal aggrandizement, but to invite heaven’s intervention in people’s lives, to cause miracles to take place. The answers to His prayers were evident to all.
Be bold to pray in public when necessary. Don’t be apologetic about it, but don’t show off or put up an act. Beware of exhibitionism. Paul writes, “I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere” (1 Timothy 2:8a New King James Version). That was not to show off.
Discipline yourself to keep on with prayers. Never give up or be discouraged by delays in answers to prayers or the lies of the devil that the time spent in prayers is a waste. John Wesley has been quoted as saying, “God does nothing except in response to believing prayer.” Pray, but, more importantly, pray without ceasing.
The apostle Peter said in Acts 6:3-4 that seven believers should be chosen to serve tables while the apostles would devote themselves continually to prayer and the ministry of the word. The apostles would not cease praying. Leaders, in particular, must never cease praying. Samuel told the Israelites in 1 Samuel 12:23 that far be it from him that he should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for them.
Similarly, Paul told the Colossians, “For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you” (Colossians 1:9a New King James Version). He said to the Thessalonians that he was praying always for them (2 Thessalonians 1:11a).
In Acts 12:5, the Bible says when Peter was arrested, apparently preparatory to being tried and killed, prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. A miracle happened! The angel of the Lord released him from prison. Even after, unknown to the disciples, the Lord had answered their unceasing prayer, they didn’t cease praying! They didn’t know Peter was there at the door, knocking, while they were lost in prayer! They couldn’t afford Peter being killed like James had been killed with the sword (Acts 12:2).
In Romans 12:12, Paul talks about continuing steadfastly or instantly in prayer. In the same vein, He says in Colossians 4:2a believers should continue earnestly in prayer. He also says in Ephesians 6:18 that believers should pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit and be watchful with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.
Pray without ceasing. God hears or answers prayers. David said, “O You who hear prayer, to You all flesh will come” (Psalm 65:2 New King James Version). The angel told Zacharias his prayer was heard (Luke 1:13). He told Cornelius his prayer was heard (Acts 10:31).
God will hear your prayers too. You will receive answers from Him in line with His will for you if you faint not. “But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers” (1 Peter 4:7 New King James Version).
According to the apostle John, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him” (1 John 5:14-15 New King James Version). Pray without ceasing.
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 resurrected 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 the palm tree and grow like the 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: I come against all hindrances to effective prayers in my life in Jesus’ name. I will devote myself to prayer, and pray without ceasing. Holy Spirit, help me to pray and not be weary. Lead me to pray according to the will of God.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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