The second shortest verse in the Bible is 1 Thessalonians 5:17. It says “Pray Continually.” Such a simple command, but how many of us actually take action with that? Do we understand the power of praying continually? It does not mean praying nonstop. It means having an ongoing conversation with our God.
When I was younger, I understood this verse to mean to just be sure to pray routinely… almost ritualistically. In 2014, when I met my mentor, I observed her prayer life and it stirred something in me. I was inspired by it. I admired it. I wanted it. It wasn’t ritualistic at all, it was conversational and it was real. I loved how she spoke to God as if He was right there, because He was. I knew that too, but I never prayed like it. If something great happened, she would say “Hey, thanks God!” If something went wrong she would say “Hey God, I need Your help here!” It was really cool.
See, 18-year-old Erin knew that God was closer than her next breath and that He cared even about the little things. She prayed often. But she prayed as if God was distant, foreign, and had “more important things to worry about.” She prayed because she felt that she had to in order to be a good Christian. At 22, I’ve learned a lot more about how personal of a God the Lord truly is. Prayer is not something to check off of my “Christian To-Do” list anymore… it’s a joy. I can spill my heart out to Him, say a simple prayer asking for help and guidance, or look up and say “I know that was You” when something good happens. …The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16).
Jeremiah 29:12 – Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
James 5:13 – Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.
Psalm 17:6 – I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.
Psalm 145:18 – The LORD is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth.
Colossians 4:2 – Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
Is prayer for you something you feel like you should do? Is it simply part of a daily routine…or is it personal? Our God is a personal One, and we can be real with Him in our prayers. God knows our hearts, He knows when our prayers are ritualistic or when we’re doing it to check a chore off of our “To-Do” list. He wants our sincerity. He wants our honest prayers. Look at David – his prayers to the Lord were really honest and authentic. I want my prayer life to be meaningful, powerful, and intimate, instead of treating it as if it’s a duty – instead of saying what I feel like I should say, but not benefitting from it at all.
Erin Culleny serves as a Marketing Assistant and Staff Writer. She loves encouraging women through her Victory Calls and finds such joy in praying for her sisters in Christ. Her favorite activities include reading her Bible, encouraging others with scripture, buying new makeup, buying dresses, and eating at the Cheesecake Factory… In that order!