Always Praying?
Photo by Arina Krasnikova

1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 ‘Pray continually…’ (v17)

If ‘rejoice always’ is a challenge, then praying continually seems impossible. One man who took this seriously was Frank Laubach, a missionary to the Philippine islands in the early part of the twentieth century.

He resolved to seek to turn his attention to God at least once an hour, and then built up his focus so that he became closer to the ‘pray continually’ command. Here is his journal entry for 3 January 1930: ‘I resolved that I would succeed better this year with my experiment of filling every minute full of the thought of God than I succeeded last year.’*

The apostle Paul is asking that we live in such a way that God is always in our thoughts. A student studying maths, a surgeon performing an operation, a nurse applying a dressing needs their mind to be on the job. But they can do so in an attitude of prayer. If you have ever been troubled by an issue that seems to overtake your mind and heart day and night, you will know what this feels like from a negative sense.

So, in a more positive sense, we learn to live every moment of our lives within the presence of God. That may sound like an alarming thing, but clothed in the righteousness of Christ we are welcomed, accepted and loved, and so where else would we rather be?


A Prayer To Make:
‘Give me a heart of prayer, God, that I may delight to pray more often, so that I can become closer to what Paul asks us to do. Amen.’

An Action To Take:
Set a device to beep once an hour throughout your waking hours, and choose that time to welcome God into whatever you’re doing.

Scripture To Consider:
1 Chr. 16:8–36; Ps. 145; John 17:1–19; Eph. 1:15–23

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Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.