Always be joyful. Never stop praying.1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 (NLT)
I was visiting with a young couple the other day. It was a fun conversation about life’s journey. They were also picking my brain a bit about how to keep Jesus at the center of their lives, and their relationship. I recited the often heard, “The family that prays together stays together.” I’m not sure if they had heard it before, but I hope it stuck. Prayer is vitally important to our relationships – both with God and each other.
Prayer, real prayer, offered in humility does so much to help us remove pride and ego from our lives and refocuses us on ministering to the needs of others. In this day and age, we need more of this. Prayer knocks the bravado (the need for praise) out of us and places our praise on Jesus. Prayer helps us to see others as Jesus sees them. Prayer helps melt away the hostility, which Satan tries to place in our heart, and replaces it with compassion. Prayer pulls us out of the distractions of the world around us and puts us in the presence of the King of Kings. Prayer changes us from the inside-out by the power of the Holy Spirit. In short, prayer is integral to the development and sustaining of our faith.
Additionally, as the Apostle Paul states, I believe that prayer helps us to “Always be joyful.” Prayer helps to melt away the stresses of life. Prayer restores peace to our mind. Prayer allows us to hear the voice of God when He says, “Don’t worry. I’ve got this.” Prayer takes away the need to worry and places our hope in Jesus Christ. Prayer is powerful. Prayer leads to joy.
So, you want to experience long-lasting joy? Develop a long-lasting prayer life. Prayer can’t just be when we are about to eat. Prayer needs to be a conversation with God throughout the day. We should pray thanks to God for the good things in life He has given to us, and that He will give to us. We should pray about the heartaches and struggles we have. We should pray for others, including those we don’t particularly like. As Paul tells it, “Never stop praying.”
So, today, and every day, develop a prayer routine. In the Old Testament, a good example is Daniel. He prayed three times per day, at the same time each day. He had a routine. In addition, pray as the Spirit moves. Pray as you go. When you see something to be thankful for, pray. When you see or hear of someone hurting, pray. Develop prayer as a lifestyle.