“Pray without ceasing.” I Thessalonians 5:17 KJV
This scripture would always stick out to me as I learned to pray and how to petition God for encouragement in my life. I was always confused about how people, who I consider spiritual mentors, would always say “Pray without ceasing.” And they would leave it there. I even heard a person state in a sermon to keep asking God for what you want as to wear Him down. They used an illustration of us coming to the Father as children go to their parents continuing to ask for the same thing over and over. This perplexed me because as a parent when my child continues to ask for something over and over, in a repetitive manner, I get irritated instead of inclining to her requests. So I was puzzled. On the other hand, I would hear my mother say, you only have to ask one time, God knows what you want and need. Again, I was puzzled because I have one of those Mothers who I feel can actually pick up the phone and have a conversation with God and discern every move I make, so surely she was right, right?
After years of always wondering what this scripture really meant, God came to me in prayer one morning. For me, this was a confirming moment as to why it is important to find quiet time with the Lord. Even if you are going to Him with a totally different agenda, He will speak to your heart about matters that you have forgotten about. Here is the revelation the Holy Spirit imparted on my heart:
To pray without ceasing doesn’t mean to be repetitive. It means to continue to ask God “about” that need by asking God to tune your ears to hear His direction regarding that “thing.” Open your eyes to the things that relate to the request. Move on the hearts of others that affect you and your request. Pray for God to help you to humble yourself as you move into a dimension of humility while waiting on Him. Ask Him to reveal to you the next step in preparation for that “thing.” Ask Him to reveal to you the resources needed to acquire that “thing” and to give you wisdom in decision making pertaining to that “thing.”
I was so empowered by this message. At one point in my life I remembered that I stopped asking God over and over for a “thing”. I would pray, ask Him for it, then I would leave it. I felt that He did not need me to keep asking, surely God knew everything I needed and wanted, so why in the world would I keep going to Him with these silly repetitions. In the back of my mind, this scripture would rest there, nudging me. I would become irritated because I just could not seem to understand why I needed to keep asking God the same thing over and over.
This revelation brought growth and maturity to my prayer life. When I have a certain issue that is pressing on my heart, not only do I ask God to fix it, but during the process I am praying without ceasing; asking Him to reveal to me what I need to do, bless those involved, show me how to act and react – regarding the issue. Prepare me for the things I may need in order to receive it. Give me knowledge and wisdom to be able to discern the issues involving my request. Fix my heart to accept His “no” or to quickly move on His “yes” and humble my heart so that I do not block what He has for me.
Thank You for revealing to me how I should approach You in prayer. Although You instruct me to seek wise counsel, thank You for revealing this issue to me by speaking to my heart. I shall pray without ceasing and bring everything to You in prayer. I shall pray without repetition, but with persistence to understand what I should do during the waiting period. Give me the wisdom to dig deeper than a surface prayer, and to pray for guidance as You position my heart to receive your blessings. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, I EMPOWER you to pray without ceasing. During your prayer time, while the requests may remain, seek God about all the intricate details of the request, trusting that He will reveal to you the steps needed in order to position you for His answer.
Ladies, has this EmpowerMoment given you a new outlook on your prayer life? Share your story with us.
Read a related EmpowerMoment: Don’t Stop!
As a professional, Mrs. Khalilah Burton is a university administrator. She is also currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Community College Leadership. Khalilah is passionate about her faith journey and uses this key scripture as her inspiration: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 NIV) Khalilah also serves as a guest speaker and panelist for various events for women and Christian empowerment. She resides in Millbrook, Alabama with her wonderful husband Donald Burton, Jr. and their two daughters. They are actively connected to St. Luke Christian Church of Huntsville, AL and Vaughn Forest Church of Montgomery, AL. Currently they are moving to Orange Beach, AL and are excited about the Lord leading them to a new church home.