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Pray Without Ceasing
A note to TMEW leaders and those who pray for us,
“Pray without ceasing,” is a great memory verse. It is short. It is easy to understand. It is important within a Christian’s walk with God. Thus, Paul wrote it as an imperative. A command. As our highlighted “Attitude of Victorious Living” this month is “Obedience,” my heart for us as leaders is that we would embrace this command as we are placed in very difficult circumstances with the precious folks who God draws to TMEW. The people He entrusts to us. The great Apostle is saying to you and me, the reader, “You, pray without ceasing. ”There will be more than enough for us to pray about, so keep bringing them to God.
My wife Lori and I made an agreement years ago as we have had the privilege of serving broken people for over 3 decades; if we discuss them or talk about them, then we are going to pray for them. We check in on them. That was our agreement with each other. For we could find ourselves having long discussions about a person’s struggles, but then not praying or calling. Years ago, we needed to remember Paul’s command and obey it. We needed to pray without ceasing. For God not only hears us but is already sending answers as we pray for people, He has laid on our heart. Isaiah 65:24 says it this way, “It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.” Lori and I needed to remember that God is sending answers before we call out! So, we should call out continuously. He loves to produce miracles in people’s lives, so we must pray.
As we are praying for them and coming alongside them in love, we must also remember to be patient. For God does hear and is already sending answers, but we don’t know His timeline. The prayer of a righteous person accomplishes much James chapter 5:16 says. James’ context is we must be patient as God is answering. James goes on to say that Elijah was a man with a nature like ours and he prayed, and it did not rain for 3 1/2 years. His prayer was all about Israel yielding to God in repentance. It took that long for them to repent. God had all the circumstance play out and then Elijah prayed again, and it rained. God had their hearts again!
To keep the command to pray without ceasing seems like it should be simple. But the truth is, it is a command for a reason. We in our humanness might find ourselves working hard to fix a problem before we pray. So may we all remember daily, moment by moment, that there are a lot of things we can do after we pray, but there is nothing we should do before we pray. It is awesome to serve with you all as we reach into the darkness of addiction and see miracles happen. Faithful is He who called us, and He will do it!