[pray] con•tin•u•al•ly BIBLE WEEK PT 2

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV – 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances: for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.bibleweekpicAnd we’re back for the second part of our three part series in honor of Bible Week. Today we’ll be discussing the next verse in this passage of Scripture in 1 Thessalonians as highlighted above.

Verse 17 seems simple enough, it plainly tells us to “pray continually.” Although it may appear basic, it most certainly isn’t anything of the sort. I’d venture to say that to “pray continually” is one area we (as Christians) struggle with often. Let me explain.

There are some people who are prayer warriors, praying all the time. Praying is what they do and they do it well. Some others pray sometimes, it may be more of a routine (i.e. at bedtime, mealtime, tragedies, etc.). In addition, there are some who either don’t pray at all or they pray very little. I’ll admit that I’ve been in each of these categories.

Most of us know what prayer is, however, for those who don’t, it is defined as “to offer devout petition, praise, thanks, etc. to God”, according to Dictionary.com. It is basically how we communicate with God. The word continually is defined as “very often; at regular or frequent intervals; habitually, etc.”

In the previous verse, the word always (1Thessalonies 5:16) pertains to length of time whereas in this verse, the word continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17) relates to the frequency of it.

Trust me when I say I’m not suggesting that we pray as often as we breathe, I’m not sure that’s possible, but I am challenging you to step up your prayer game (take your prayer life to the next level). If your first response in stressful situations, is to talk to your husband, BFF, etc. about it, I encourage you to take 5 minutes to pray about it before discussing it with anyone. If your initial reaction to an incident is to worry or get angry, take a 5 minute prayer break before you reply. If your schedule is too busy to pray, add 5 minutes of prayer time to your agenda. You get the idea. J Be intentional about praying and the habit of doing so will soon follow.

We should be in the habit of praying, regularly talking and listening to God. Praying should not be based on the posture of your body but the position of your heart. In our society, there are times we won’t be able to kneel and pray, however, that shouldn’t stop us from praying. We can pray silently or aloud, through tears of sadness or joy, individually or with a group. The emphasis is on praying not the details of how and why, just do it: “pray continually” – it’s both complicated and simple. Some studies propose it takes about 17 days to form a habit – that’s it! One who persistently practices prayer, perfects the habit of it.

May the habit of praying be with you,
Takiela

 

Stay Tuned: Next we’ll be discussing “give thanks in all circumstances: for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV

(the third and final portion of this passage of Scripture in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV)

re•joice al•ways – BIBLE WEEK PT 1

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV – 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances: for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

bibleweek1of7In honor of Bible Week, we’re going to take a closer look at the above Bible verse. I love breaking the word down into bite sized pieces to chew on and digest! LOL!

Lord, I pray that You would allow a divine revelation of Your word! Bless each of us to extract from it what You want each of us to learn. Help us to apply what we learn to our lives in such a way that will glorify You alone, for there is no us without You.

Now ladies…let’s do this – in Jesus name!

The word rejoice, what exactly does it mean? The prefix re is defined as “again” or “again and again” to indicate repetition, or with the definition “back” or “backward” to indicate withdrawal or backward motion according to www.dictionary.com. (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/re-)

We all have a pretty good understanding of what the word joy means. However, I’d like to explain (if I may) what it does not mean. Joy does not mean happy. The word happy is a derivative from the word happens. In other words, you are happy because of what happens – it’s circumstantial, based off your current situation. Joy is not dependent upon situations but it is rooted in God. You can have joy regardless of what’s taking place around you (we’ll get back to that later). *Joy is also one of the fruits of the Spirit. See Galatians 5:22-23*

When we add the prefix re to the word joy we get the word rejoice, which means to have joy over and over again, repeat it as often as necessary. But wait, the Lord in His infinite wisdom didn’t not stop there because of His children like Takiela (LOL) who is sometime in need of a back-up plan in case I miss it the first time. The second part to that definition is back, backward, or backward motion – go back to joy! No matter what difficult times you are facing currently, go back to the place where you had joy and duplicate this action… frequently. That is how you can have joy regardless of what’s taking place around you. Your joy isn’t based on what’s happening but it is based on God. Are there times you’ll be sorrowful? Absolutely, but even in those times, if you choose to backtrack to the moments of joy in God you draw strength from it.

Philippians 4:4 NIV – Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Nehemiah 8:10 NIV – for the joy of the Lord is your strength.

May you always fall back on the joy of the Lord, over and over again,
Takiela

Stay Tuned: Next we’ll be discussing “pray continually” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 NIV (the second portion of this passage Scripture in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV)