verb: bring or come to an end
Pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
I’ve struggled with prayer for 14 years now – that’s when motherhood began. Right about the time that my prayer life needed increase, it began to dwindle. Now that I share a home with a teenager and an almost-teenager, I am constantly reminded of how much more I need to pray. The verse from Thessalonians definitely doesn’t assuage my guilt.
I know God isn’t about guilt, but at times, I felt constantly reminded that my prayer life ins’t up to par. Back in the day, I defined a good prayer life as an hour alone conversing with God. If you a mom, you know that an uninterrupted hour in life only comes somewhere in the middle of the night– and that’s on a good night. Even if I could find an hour, I still wouldn’t reach the “without ceasing” mark of Thessalonians.
So, I got creative. Instead of praying for a solid hour in a single setting, I began chatting with God throughout the day. At first, it was accidental prayer, prompted by crisis, need, or simple serendipity. However, I wanted to be more purposeful, so I came up with a way to pray during my crazy, but daily, routine. This was an idea originally inspired by my mom.
One day, while ironing a mound of laundry (something I’d never do today: my philosophy is iron only when absolutely necessary), I heard her whispering. I questioned her as to who she was talking too. She simply replied, “I’m praying. Each time I iron a piece of clothing, I pray for the person it belongs too.” As a teen, I wasn’t too impressed with this information; after all, I wasn’t the designated ironer at the house. But later, when I became a mother, this moment became a source of inspiration for my new prayer strategy.
So here’s a list of ways to add ceaseless prayer to your daily life.
1. While making the bed(s): give thanks for a comfortable place to lay your head and a good night’s rest. If your a new mom, you could pray for a baby that sleeps all night.
2. While doing laundry, like folding or ironing (that is if you do that sort of thing): pray a blessing over each person’s life whose clothes fill your basket. Or pray for the poor who have very little and for your heart to open to any clothes that could be passed on to help those in need.
3. While getting ready/dressing: pray for health and give thanks for the blessings that we are “daily loaded with”
4. While exercising: listen to worship/Christian music and really focus on the words, letting it guide your prayer and also let God speak to you.
5. While cooking dinner: found this idea on another blog. Read about it here Dinner prayer
6. While cleaning the house: thank God for his forgiveness and the way He “cleans out” our lives; pray for sin to be stripped from your life and the lives of those around you; pray that the lives of those who share your home will be a pleasing fragrance to God.
7. While reading scripture: place cute notecards with scripture verses in random places around your house (inside kitchen cabinets, bathroom mirrors, nightstand table, computer desk) and each time you see one, say a quick prayer using the verse as a prayer guide. There’s nothing more powerful than praying the scripture back to God. It transforms us and makes Him smile.
Those are my ideas. If you have any ways you live out the ceaseless prayer life, please leave your ideas in the comments section.