In the closing remarks of the book of 1 Thessalonians, Paul writes simply and precisely: “Pray without ceasing” (5:17).
As we looked at a few days ago, prayer is appropriate at all times; we can always pray in the Spirit, on every occasion. Similarly, Paul’s encouragement here in Thessalonians indicates that prayer should not be something we do every now and then, a bullet point on our ‘to-do list’, but it should develop our prayer life so that it comes as natural to us as thinking and breathing.
Smith Wigglesworth put it like this: “I don’t often spend more than half an hour in prayer, but I never go more than half an hour without praying.”
The wonderful thing about prayer and fasting is that we have carved time out of our everyday, specifically set aside to seek God. This is where fasting helps us to be purposeful about prayer as we move beyond the spontaneous prayers inspired by the moment, and into purposeful, specific prayers.
Perhaps you need breakthrough in a certain area, or you are praying for a breakthrough on someone else’s behalf. These prayers during fasting are set aside and are purposeful. The Hebrew word for holiness is “qodesh,” which literally means to be set apart. Prayer during fasting is in this sense of the word: holy prayer. It is set apart, specifically, and purposefully.
As you seek God during this time of fasting, use the extra time that you have during these weeks to be purposeful about your prayers. Let these purposeful prayers deepen your prayer life so that it becomes a purposeful habit that you carry with you through the rhythm of your day. So just as you think and breathe, so you also pray, without ceasing.
– Emma Thonsgaard
- Am I spending any extra time gained through fasting specifically on prayer?
- What is my prayer life like at the moment and how do I want it to change?
- Thank Jesus that He hears all your prayers.
- Vision Sunday tomorrow.