1 Thessalonians 5:17 says “pray continually.” For such a simple command, I’ve heard a lot of discussion about it. “What about when I’m driving?” “What about when I’m at work?” “What about when I’m sleeping?”
What about we don’t overthink this?
We use phrases like that all the time in our own speech. My college roommate had music on constantly. No, I don’t mean 24/7. You know what I mean. And you know what Paul means when he says to pray continually.
Be in touch with God at all times. For early Christians, it must have been really cool to think that God could be reached anywhere at anytime, since back then you mostly had to be face to face with someone to communicate with them. Now, thanks to the wonders of technology, most of us can be reached anywhere at anytime. Maybe the ability to talk to anyone has made us less likely to talk to God. But it should be the exact opposite.
If You Text It, Pray It
One of the most common complaints these days is that people always have their phones out and don’t just talk to each other anymore. As someone who still hasn’t joined the smartphone ranks, let me tell you, it can be very awkward to be in a room full of people checking Facebook and playing Candy Crush. But since I don’t see the trend changing anytime soon, let’s try to use it for good.
It’s important to have dedicated prayer time where you focus on God and your relationship with Him. But you should also be praying continually throughout your day. This means looking for ways to include God in what is going on around you, whether it’s giving Him credit for something He’s done or asking for His help.
If you have trouble spotting these opportunities to talk to God, try this rule: every time you send a text to someone, send a “prayer text” to God. For example:
My boss is being such a jerk today. “God, please give me patience.”
Can’t wait to see you tonight! “God, thanks for friends.”
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! “God, bless this person today and make this year their best one yet.”
You get the idea. Maybe it will feel weird at first. Maybe sometimes you’ll forget, or struggle to come up with a prayer that goes along with the text. Keep at it. Don’t feel like you’re pestering God. He wants to be included in your day. He wants to hear from you, even if it’s just about your weekend plans.
Prayer is incredibly powerful, but not every prayer has to be life-changing. The habit of praying continually, though? That’s world-changing.