Turning Thoughts into Prayers
Pray Continually. –Thessalonians 5:17
What God’s Word instructs us to do in this month’s text may seem impractical, unpleasant, and even impossible until we understand how spiritual disciplines work. The spiritual discipline of praying continually like any other spiritual discipline is something that has to be learned. When we begin to learn how to pray continually we may not be very good at it, but with practice we will become proficient. Learning how to pray continually is something that can be learned like swimming, riding a bike or baking a cake.
Like any other discipline praying continually leads to freedom. The person who has learned how to swim has the freedom to enjoy swimming. The person who has learned how to pray continually has the freedom to enjoy the peace, joy, presence, and communion of Christ.
The Good News of the Kingdom of God is that right here and now we can experience life in the reality of God’s Kingdom. This is life of an entirely different quality than is normally experienced in our world. One of the primary ways we learn how to live in the Kingdom of God is through learning how to practice spiritual disciplines like praying continually.
So how do we learn how to pray continually? When we wake up in the morning we pray to Christ and then never say “goodbye.” It is like calling a friend and not hanging up. You go about your day knowing that Christ is with you and you talk to Him throughout the course of your day. One simple method for praying continually is to turn thoughts into prayers. Whatever you are thinking about turn it into prayer. If you are thinking about something good that you are experiencing thank Christ. If you have thoughts of worry pray to Christ about those needs. If you begin thinking about someone who is frustrating you pray a prayer of blessing over them. If you think about someone who is going through a hard time pray for them.