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“Pray without ceasing” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV
This verse has always baffled me somewhat. Pray without ceasing? What does that mean? Does it mean we are to never stop praying? Is that even possible?
Today was a rare morning when my one-year-old actually fell back to sleep after she woke up at 6 o’clock. I had the chance to sit and enjoy a bagel and a cup of coffee in peace, as well as get into the Word for a minute.
Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of word study during my Bible time. This means that I usually have three Bibles sitting in front of me, plus the Blue Letter Bible Concordance, so that I can compare translations as I seek meaning and understanding from the Spirit.
It’s really fun, actually, once you get into it. Hebrew in particular fascinates me because it is not only the language of Israel, but because it is also the language our Messiah spoke while here on earth.
So there I was, wondering what it really means to “pray without ceasing” when I came across an interesting footnote in the Aramaic English New Testament (AENT); the footnote for 1 Thesselonians 5:17 referred me to Colossians 4:12:
“Epaphras sends you shalom, who is from among you, a servant of the Messiah, always laboring for you in prayer, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the good will of Elohim.” AENT
The footnote for the phrase “laboring in prayer” in the AENT says this:
“Laboring for you in prayer is based on the Hebraic expression ‘avodah lev’; it is the work of service of the heart.”
Is prayer ever an afterthought for you? I have to be honest, it has been for me more than I care to admit. When you do something so often, like praying, it can end up being one of those things that you don’t really have to put much thought into. Our five-year-old sometimes gets into the habit of repeating the same prayer every day. At that point my husband encourages her to really “think about what she is saying” because talking to Elohim is serious business.
If prayer is meant to be a constant work or service of our hearts how can we, as sinners, accomplish such a task? I think if we stop looking at it as a task, and begin to look at it as the chance to communicate and fellowship with our Creator, we will see prayer in a whole new way. It’s one of those things we should look forward to and even enjoy, like talking to a close friend. I know when I get to talking to my closest girlfriend we will talk for hours because we just love each other’s company that much. It is actually an effort to stop talking to her, not the other way around. “For the mouth speaks from the fullness of the heart.” Matthew 12:34 (AENT). Oh that our hearts would be full of a passion for our Savior, so much so that we can’t help but “pray without ceasing”.
How do you encourage your children to “pray without ceasing”?
I have found that children’s prayer books can be excellent resources for such a thing. The Precious Moments: Little Book of Prayers from Tommy Nelson is one such resource. Full of prayers that are just right for children, from prayers about animals to forgiveness, the Precious Moments: Little Book of Prayers has some great examples and ideas. We use the prayers in this book as prompts. We read a prayer, and then I encourage my oldest to think of other things to pray for that relate to that prayer. I try to help her understand that we can talk to Yeshua (Jesus) about anything, from itchy mosquito bites to her desire for a puppy.
I like that the Precious Moments: Little Book of Prayers is a sturdy board book that my youngest can enjoy too. The prayers are presented through simple rhymes, making them easy to remember. The classic Precious Moments illustrations remind me of my own childhood memories, which makes the book all the more of a treasure. From morning until evening your precious ones will fall in love with this Little Book of Prayers.
Thanks to Tommy Nelson Mommy I am blessed to offer one copy of the Precious Moments: Little Book of Prayers to one of my readers. Enter via the Rafflecopter now through Saturday, September 28th. One random winner will be chosen and notified via email within a few days of the giveaway’s end. The winner will also be displayed on the Rafflecopter.
Until then, happy reading!
Yours in Messiah Yeshua,
I received a copy of the Precious Moments: Little Book of Prayers through the Tommy Nelson Mommy Program. I was not asked to write a positive review. All views and opinions expressed are solely and completely my own. I received no compensation other than a copy of the book featured in this post, which is mine to keep. This post also contains affiliate links. To learn more please read my full policy.
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