The Power of Continual Prayer

I am thrilled to feature my friend Leslie Newman from Journey to Imperfect for today’s post. She’s a popular blogger on the topic of prayer, so you’ll have a great time learning from her today. Enjoy her spiffy graphics too, and we both appreciate your shares on social media!

Pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17, NIV)

Have you ever wondered about what it really means to pray continually?

On the surface, continual prayer might seem like an impossibility. As much as we would love to have more hours in our days for that sit-down kind of prayer time with Jesus, we have things to do, people to care for, and places to be. But we are clearly told to pray without ceasing. So what does that really mean?

We can always find a lot of insight if we go back to the original language in which a verse was first written. In this case, we need to go back to Greek, and we’ll find this definition when we look up the Greek word for “continually.”

without any unnecessary interval (time-gap)

(This definition came from Helps Word-studies which you can find on this page at Bible Hub.)

It’s interesting that the word “unnecessary” is included here. It seems to be an indicator that there are times when we there are going to be some “necessary” time gaps. We are going to get caught up in our responsibilities, and we are going to have times throughout our day where we are not in an attitude of prayer. And that’s OK. But the thing is, we don’t want unnecessarily long time gaps.

So the question is, how can we pray without unnecessary time gaps and what indicates continual prayer in our lives?

In a nutshell, to pray continually, we have to think of prayer as an attitude and a relationship rather than a task we cross off our list.  If we can do this, we can eliminate those unnecessary time-gaps.

Probably one of the very best indicators that let us know that we are experiencing forms of continual prayer in our daily lives can be found when we ask ourselves questions like these:

  • Am I looking to Jesus?
  • Is my heart turned toward God?
  • Am I starting the conversation?

As soon as we are faced with temptation, unexpected circumstances, or all the various and sundry difficulties we face in our day-to-day lives, are we starting a conversation with God to ask for His help? Are we doing our best to turn to Him and begin the process of placing our trust in Him?

On the other hand, when things are pleasant, are we remembering to be in conversation with God, thanking Him for His blessing or taking time to pray for others? This kind of turning keeps the “unnecessary intervals” at bay because there is not one single situation we ever face where we can’t make a conscious decision to go to God in prayer.

No matter what our circumstances, we can have an attitude of surrender and trust, and that attitude is a choice we make. At times, it can be a difficult choice to make, but it’s not impossible. We’ll fail, of course. No one is perfect. But effort is a powerful weapon against an enemy who would want to discourage us from prayer, especially continual prayer.

If you are making an effort in the best way you can, if you find yourself turning toward Him as you move through your day, then you are exhibiting the essence of what we are commanded to do in 1 Thessalonians 5:17. You are moving toward becoming a person who prays without ceasing.

The power of continual prayer is beyond what we could ever imagine or understand! Prayer is our life line. It connects us to an all-powerful God, our Creator, and our Sustainer. Prayer strengthens us, changes our perspectives, gives us hope, and helps us walk in victory through life’s difficulties. Imagine the power we have access to when we learn to pray continually! This kind of unceasing prayer places us in continual contact with an Almighty God. He hears. He answers. He changes the world!

So together, let’s work to become more and more aware of ways to pray continually, to focus on prayer as a relationship and to keep an attitude of prayer about us as we walk through our days.

He’ll reward our sincere efforts, and we’ll experience His power in ways we never imagined!

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Thank you Leslie for this inspiring, encouraging guest post!

Leslie is a wife, mother, friend, heart-encourager, and recovering perfectionist. She spends her days home educating, writing, and hunting wildflowers on her farm in rural Kentucky. Drop by and visit with her at her blog, Journey to Imperfect, where she talks about faith, prayer, and letting go of perfect.

You can find Journey to Imperfect in these places – Facebook//Pinterest//Twitter//Instagram

Questions for reflection:

How does continual prayer deepen your relationship with God?

How does continual prayer change your attitude?

Readers, please comment below. Leslie and I would love to hear from you!

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  • Shifting my mindset from prayer being a task to check off is challenging, but the more I include God in my daily living through conversation, the more I see Him there! Great reminders today!

    • Rebecca, I’m right there with you in working out that challenging shift in our mindsets! Thank you for stopping by today! Blessings!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you for visiting today, and I’m glad you appreciate the reminders!

  • Deborah

    Thank you for sharing this post. The shift from prayer as a task to prayer as a lifestyle was huge. Love, love, love that I can be in continual conversation with my heavenly Father about anything at anytime. Talking with Him about the Scripture I am studying while I vacuum actually has me thinking a bit more positively about vacuuming even.

    • Hi Deborah, I did the same while washing the dishes yesterday! Thanks for visiting today!

    • Sarah Geringer

      I also pray while vacuuming, Deborah. It’s a sort of “quiet space” inside the noise.

  • Pingback: The Power of Continual Prayer | Journey to Imperfect()

  • Sarah, thank you so much for hosting me today. It was a joy to write this! I continue to be so thankful for your support and friendship!

    • Sarah Geringer

      I am so happy to have you here, friend! May your posts on prayer continue to minister to many here and at your blog.

  • I love this, Sarah! And what great insight you’ve brought to this verse, Leslie! This is an area that I am trying to develop into a habit in my life. I want to remember and realize that God is always just right there with me. So turning to Him, even if it’s just to thank Him that I got a great parking spot at Walmart (among so many other conversations), is what I want to “continually” without any unnecessary gaps do!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Yes, a great parking spot is a reason to send a quick prayer of thanksgiving. Agreed!

    • Hi Beth, thank you for visiting today. I love the little things we can be thankful for!

  • Karen

    I’ve been reading a book on the contemplative life… that is one that ever fixed on Jesus so that we move in an out of prayer as a regular part of all our activities. As we develop this ability to sit quietly and ponder scripture or be in wordless prayer, it develops our sensitivity to how God would use us in whatever situation we find ourselves in. it’s a whole different way of thinking that is very different from traditional ‘prayer time’ or ‘quiet time’ that happens at the beginning or end of each day. maybe this is what paul meant by ‘pray continually’ as well.

    • Karen, thank you for sharing those insights. So very true! And a way of life to work toward. I’m glad you stopped by today!

  • Sarah, thank you for sharing Leslie’s post; I’m always so encouraged by her writing. Thanks to you both for sharing your wisdom and experience on prayer – a mysteriously powerful connection to our Father in heaven; I never tire of learning more about it. Blessings to you both!

    • Carlie, thank you for the kind words! Blessings back!

  • This was a great explanation of praying continually. The more we practice this attitude of prayer, the more we feel God’s presence.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Love your observation, Debbie–I agree, we can feel God’s presence more closely the more we pray!

      • Debbie, so true! Thank you for stopping by!

  • Leslie, I appreciate your prayer focus. Prayer is such a comfort to me. I’m so thankful for direct access to Him and that He does indeed listen and care.Thanks for sharing Leslie with us today, Sarah. ((xoxo))

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Brenda, thanks for stopping by. Direct access to the throne is an unmatched blessing!

      • Hi Brenda, thank you for visiting! Yes! He is there!

  • Esther Dorotik

    Love, love, love this topic of praying continuously! It aligns our heart to His will and unleashes His heavenly storehouse. Thank you for sharing, Leslie!!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thankful for your visit today, Esther!

      • Esther, thank you for the encouraging words. I love that phrase “unleashes His heavenly storehouse.” So true! Thank you for visiting today!

  • Love this prayer encouragement: an attitude and a relationship rather than a task we cross off our list. Amen! Thank you, Leslie, for the reminder that prayer is an invitation to know and be known.
    Sweet blessings to you both!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hello Crystal! Blessings to you also!

      • Blessings back Crystal! Thank you for visiting!

  • Praying without ceasing has become like breathing, Sarah. Over time, a constant conversation has developed between me and Him. In this season I’m learning to listen more than speak. It’s an adventure, for sure …

    • Linda, thank you for visiting! An adventure it is!

  • I really needed this reminder today: “we have to think of prayer as an attitude and a relationship rather than a task we cross off our list.” I’m definitely guilty of seeing it as something to mark off my to do list far too often. Thank you for that important thought shift, Leslie!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Candace! Thanks for your visit, and have a blessed weekend!

      • Candace, I totally understand how that feels! I’m a list person, so I have to be very careful about that as well. Thanks for the encouraging words! Blessings!

  • Oh how much guilt you just relieved! Often we hear this verse and feel the pressure of being “continually” in prayer. Yes, there are necessary times when we won’t be. But even then, if we have been consistent outside of the “gaps”, our hearts will be tuned to that need to connect with God on all things. Thank you so much for this perspective!

    • Christa, As a person who struggles with perfectionism I have often found that I put way too much pressure on myself so I found that definition quite relieving as well. And as you stated above consistently is key to getting our hearts connected with God in all things. I loved the way you expressed that!

  • This is a great post. That verse is such a challenge but it does make a big difference to think of it as an attitude and relationship instead of just a task.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Thank you Lesley! Attitude is so important when it comes to prayer!

    • Thank you, Lesley. I’m so glad you stopped by!

  • Prayers as an attitude and a relationship – that’s what I believe too! Great post!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Carol, thank you for visiting both this post and my other post! Blessings to you!

      • Carol, thank you for stopping by! Blessings!

  • Christian Stress Mgt

    I totally agree that prayer must be more of a relationship than a task to be crossed off our list. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thank you so much for stopping by and reading!

  • Leslie, so lovely to “meet you” here at Sarah’s today! I will be sharing this with my online prayer group. Blessings 🙂

    • Lyli, it’s good to see you as well! I’m so glad this will work well for your prayer group. Thank you for sharing! Blessings back!

  • What a blessing to find two of my most favorite people in the same place! Such good wisdom, too. Thank you Leslie!

    Hugs,
    Lori

    • Sarah Geringer

      You are one of my favorite people too, Lori! Happy Monday to you!