In continuation of my previous piece: What Is Praying Without Ceasing; Is It Achievable? (II), I will continue on this note:
What Then Is Prayer?
The dictionary defines prayer as a practice of communicating with one’s God; the act of praying; a request or a petition.
Further elaboration: an address (as a petition) to God or a god in word or thought; a set of request. The act or practice of praying to God or god.
Observe the word “communication” in the first definition. Another word worthy of note in the second definition is “thought”.
Merging the two; it is communication to God either in words or in thought, thoughts are conceived in the heart/ mind. It is tendering a request, petition, heart cry or desire.
“Proseuche” is the Greek word most commonly translated Prayer, mentioned about 127 times.
The word Proseuche is a compound word, “Pros” and “euche”.
Pros is a preposition and it used to show closeness and intimacy, like a close and personal knowing, sort of an interdependent existence.
Euche on the other hand illustrates commitment, an obligation, and a binder.
Communication is the bridge upon which relationship is build, and trust is established over a period of time spent in intimate, mutual and sincere relationship.
Relationships built on truth will be sustained by truths; likewise relationships built on lies can only be sustained by lies.
This therefore means that prayer entails a close and intimate communication either in words or thoughts to God; it is a commitment, an obligation and a binder which is however done willingly. It is born out of personal knowledge of each other by the parties involved. It is maintaining a consistent line of dialogue; talking and not necessarily speaking.
Just like two people on a phone, or chatting via social media platforms, there is a sending and a receiving, then there is a replying of sent messages and receiving by the initial sender. Likewise prayer is.
Talking and speaking are not one and the same thing, in talking, both parties are actively involved, while in speaking, only one party does the dissemination of information/ words i.e. active, the second is simply passive, a listener.
In my previous piece titled “The Lord Is My Shepherd”, so much emphasis was made on tarrying on the word of God in terms of studying and meditating and also building one’s life on the word. Similarly also in the last piece “Is The Church Invincible”, emphasis on the probability of an invincible life and church is hinged upon building on the revelation of God’s word. As good as that is, the word and prayer go in paripasu, i.e. when juxtaposed, results are inevitable.
Prayer and the word are two complementary entities, they are not supplementary therefore none can substitute the other.
The strength of our prayers and its prevailing power is determined by the extent to which it is in line with the word of God. Prayer amiss is simply praying your own words and not God’s words.
If a common worker in an organisation cannot give orders to the Chief Executive Officer, how much more we in relation to God? God’s word remains the only way effective prayer can be made.
Prayer is communicating within the ambiance and expanse of God’s words, talking and relating to him our heart, and he replying as well. Until there is a response from God, prayer is not yet complete.
One may ask, does God speak all the time? Does God always respond whenever we call? The answer is Yes.
Believers mostly put God in a stereotype, trying to determine how God should speak to them forgetting that he is Lord and King, a sovereign one, and does not owe anyone any explanation of any sort, however, he is ready and willing to always communicate his counsel to as many as have ears to hear.
God speaks via dreams, visions, the voice of his spirit in us, quickening his words in our spirit, maybe an audible voice, human vessels, nature, many other amazing ways and finally, one of the most ignored ways God speaks is “The Peace of God That Surpasses All Human Understanding” and also “The Joy of The Holy Ghost”.
Anytime prayer is made, if truly it is prayer, then one or more of these should follow, even when the replies are not necessarily pleasant to us.
For the fact that one prays and leaves heavy is indicative of the fact that you still need to pray some more, so invariably, God has spoken. Even if God were totally silent, believe me, His silence has spoken already, it simply interprets “come up hither”, you are yet to hit the threshold. That’s what it simply means
God always responds to our actions and or inactions.
If this is what prayer means, how then are believers expected to pray without ceasing?
Praying Without Ceasing.
We are spirit, soul and body. Due to the limitations of the mortal body, no man can pray for a whole week nonstop, well at least am yet to hear of such. The lengthiest I’ve heard of was 72 hours.
But the bible says “pray without ceasing.”
As much as the spirit cannot get tired like the body, the body however is needed to give expression to what is sustained in the spirit. Therefore, even if one wants to pray in tongues for infinity…………, sorry, the body cannot take it.
Praying without ceasing has nothing to deal with the physical act of praying necessarily, rather it’s a heart posture, a state of the heart where and when it keeps a constant dialogue with God. Just as a phone line can be opened and closes, our hearts should be opened. Just as you need to tune to a certain frequency in order to receive the transmissions, likewise believers need to tune their hearts to God. Just as we listen still to hear God, our spirits should also be tuned, settled and still in order to hear the whispers of heaven. If we must be men that can discern every leading of the Holy Spirit, talk with and also hear God, then our heart posture should be that of one ready to receive at all times.
It’s very imperative that we do not try to dictate to God how he should communicate to us; rather, in the stillness of our spirit, we listen and willingly act promptly.
Jesus countered every of the questions thrown at him by the devil using the word of God, this means he had studied, meditated, and definitely prayed and courtesy of that, he could get a response from God and relate it back to the devil. Remember, he said, I do nothing unless i see my father do same. Jesus spoke only when the father spoke, Elijah said, as long as the lord lives, before whom I stand.
These examples are proofs that praying without ceasing is very possible.
Maintaining a state of the heart that always look up to God in heaven, from whence cometh your help, a heart that is always looking inwards, searching and listening still to what will be quickened. Remember, our spirit and the Holy Spirit bears witness that we are the sons of God, Rom. 8: 16. Also, the Holy Spirit searches the things of God, the very deep things of God and reveals them to you and me, 1 Cor. 2: 10.
Acknowledging the fact that you are insufficient in yourself, and are in desperate need of God’s grace and mercy; that is a heart posture of prayer because prayer is also a request.
This therefore is praying without ceasing
And is it possible?
Oh yes, it is POSSIBLE.
However it still remains a choice.
Maintain a heart posture of constant and consistent diligent communication with the Holy Spirit that resides in you. By simply doing that, you will be fulfilling scriptures and doing yourself a great good.
Let’s begin praying without ceasing today.