Can We Really Pray Without Ceasing?
The Bible encourages us to pray without ceasing, to pray continually. This seems to be an impossible task. If we always prayed, we’d be doing nothing but praying.
However, Brother Lawrence did approach this goal, learning over the course of many years to be in a constant attitude of prayer as he went about his daily activities. But Brother Lawrence lived in a setting that would be ideal for this (a monastery) and during a much slower-paced era (some five centuries ago).
Surely this isn’t feasible today with our busy lives overflowing with activity.
Although I, too, consider this as unattainable, I was at least motivated to be on the lookout for people and situations warranting prayer. I guess I made progress in that area, although it was confirmed in an odd way.
Once while watching TV, the protagonist was in a bad situation and faced a critical decision. I asked God to protect him and that he would choose wisely. I quickly caught myself, embarrassed for treating fantasy as reality, while at the same time realizing I was developing a subconscious prayer life.
For the next several months this tendency to pray for fictional characters continued, apparently mirroring a growing real-life practice.
I don’t pray for characters in television and movies anymore; I wonder if I don’t pray as much for real-life people either.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.