“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances…”1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
Prayer – a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or an object of worship (Miriam-Webster)
When I meditate on 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18, I automatically think of the times that it took an extra push or I did not pray without ceasing. I think about the times that I did not rejoice or give thanks in my circumstances. I think about how despite me not following the charge written in those verses, I remain protected. I remained blessed. Things could have been worse. Issues were resolved. Lessons were learned. I think commercially we see prayer as a get out of jail free card or a genie’s lamp. But as the definition states, prayer is a request, an expression of thanks, or worship. It does not say that things will be answered the way we expect them. However, it is through prayer that we can request and find supernatural comfort and peace that will help us weather the storms. We can request and receive guidance on how to approach our situations. Through prayer, we can express our faith in the unseen and show hope for the prosperous future that God has called us to by giving thanks in advance. We can rejoice through our worship via prayer for God still keeping us and being with us. So, I encourage you to reshape your mindset on prayer and see how your outlook on life changes for the better. Watch yourself evolve and grow into who God has called you to be.
So, how do you pray? Start with a conversation just like you would with a friend or co-worker. God wants to be a part of your everyday life too. I like to talk to him during my showers or when I am cleaning. If I am having a tough day, I am learning to turn to him and ask for his guidance versus venting via social media or the friend group chat. He wants to be an essential part of our day. I used to (I’m working on starting back) wake up every morning and ask God what he has on my agenda for the day. I would even ask what clothes do I need to wear or items I need to pack to prepare for the day. I started to get those nudges about what to do, and they were always spot on.
Furthermore, prayer can have a great impact on improving not only our spiritual health but our mental and physical health. Prayer is like a journal. There is something about releasing your thoughts and feelings about a situation that takes away stress. There has even been some research on the impact of prayer on health ( https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02933/full & https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6390433/ ). Prayer goes a step further than a journal because you are turning over your burdens to the one who knows all, can address all, and wants the best for you.
So, how will you incorporate prayer into your day?
A lot of churches are starting their 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting, and they have several resources and accountability that can jumpstart your prayer routine. This year, I am attending The Rock City Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Check out their website for more details (https://www.therockcity.org/diy-fast). They will have daily devotional and prayer.
Also, enjoy this playlist as a tool to set the atmosphere during your prayer/conversation time.
My prayer for you:
God, thank you for this beautiful child of yours who decided to read this blog. I pray that they are covered in your never-ending protection. I am speaking wellness, peace, prosperity, and joy over their life. God, I pray they feel your comfort and presence and know there is nothing too hard for you to handle. You want to hear their requests and you want to answer them in a way that benefits them. God, they may be going through a difficult time, the obstacles may be plenty, and the options few. But, we know that leaning on you will put them in the best position for protection, grace, and favor. Thank you, God, for not only listening to the desires of their hearts and their prayers but answering them.
We thank you in advance for your blessings and favor, Amen!