Our Daily Bread -- Prayer Marathon
May 5, 2016
Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-28
Bible in a Year: 1 Kings 19-20; Luke 23:1-25
Pray continually. —1 Thessalonians 5:17
Do you struggle to maintain a consistent prayer life? Many of us do. We know that prayer is important, but it can also be downright difficult. We have moments of deep communion with God and then we have times when it feels like we’re just going through the motions. Why do we struggle so in our prayers?
The life of faith is a marathon. The ups, the downs, and the plateaus in our prayer life are a reflection of this race. And just as in a marathon we need to keep running, so we keep praying. The point is: Don’t give up!
That is God’s encouragement too. The apostle Paul said, “pray continually” (1 Thess. 5:17), “keep on praying” (Rom. 12:12 nlt), and “devote yourselves to prayer” (Col. 4:2). All of these statements carry the idea of remaining steadfast and continuing in the work of prayer.
And because God, our heavenly Father, is a personal being, we can develop a time of close communion with Him, just as we do with our close human relationships. A. W. Tozer writes that as we learn to pray, our prayer life can grow “from the initial most casual brush to the fullest, most intimate communion of which the human soul is capable.” And that’s what we really want—deep communication with God. It happens when we keep praying. —Poh Fang Chia
Dear Father, we often struggle to spend time with You. Help us to make the time, and help us sense Your goodness and presence.
There is never a day when we don’t need to pray.
INSIGHT: The Wycliffe Bible Commentary provides illumination on how Paul’s concluding prayer in 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 summarizes key points covered in this epistle: “Paul embraces all his exhortations in a prayer for sanctification, and assures the believers that a faithful God will answer it. . . .
Though human surrender and obedience are necessary, sanctification is essentially a divine work (cf. Rom. 15:16; Eph. 5:26). Wholly (holoteleis) implies that no part is lacking; the whole person is to be kept blameless.” Every aspect of human nature is to be made whole in Christ. Dennis Fisher
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