Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
As 2014 opened, I felt God calling me to prayer. Yes, He calls us all, and yes, I DO pray, but there is something missing in my prayer life. At times, I feel a deep connection, at times a great distance. In my studies on prayer, one of the aspects of Biblical prayer that perplexes me is the idea that we are to “pray continually.” What does that even mean? Well, first we must look into the words of this verse to find what was intended in this call to action.
Without going into an in depth study, we can take a quick look at the Greek terms* used in this verse to glean a little more meaning out of these simple, yet profound words.
to pray- proseuchomai: to pray to God, to supplicate, to worship, to make prayer.
Pretty straight forward, right? Let’s lean in, just a little more…proseuchomai– from PROS and EACHOMAI–these two words joined together mean to will or wish toward, by the side of, near to. The word pros denotes motion towards, assention to, nearness at.
To pray is to move toward God, by His side…or to wish to be near.
continually (without ceasing)- adialeiptos: uninterruptedly (without omission)- derived from (the negative of) dia and leipo- two words meaning, to leave, avoid because of. Dia is also tranlated as “the channel of an act” or “through”. So ceasing is to leave or avoid through a channel. Without ceasing– to NOT leave or avoid.
Praying brings us near. But ceasing from it will be the channel that draws us away.
But how? How do we do this? How do I live and breathe and move in prayer?
As we enter into the Lenten season, we seek to draw near to Christ, to learn more about who He is. I can’t think of a better way to study prayer than by looking at the life of Christ. I can’t think of a more intimate way to draw near to God than to pray. Join me as we Pray the WAY, taking the journey with Jesus who is the channel that brings us near to God. I do not know what we will find as we study, but I do know that through the life of Jesus we can learn what we need to know about the promise of prayer, the practice of prayer, the peace of prayer.
Will you pray with me?
Gracious God, Father of All, we praise you for your greatness. We thank you for calling us toward You and for providing a channel to draw near through Your Son, Jesus. As we seek You Lord, guide us with Your Word, show us the path as we walk with the One who is The Way. Lord, teach us to pray. Amen.
*My quick look was just that. I used the Strong’s Concordance and Biblehub.com for my “research”. Please feel free to look at this verse for yourself asking God to reveal to you meaning. I, in no way, mean to state that I am an authority on analysis of scripture. I simply read, pray, and write my impressions. I encourage you to do the same.