Let’s Pray Now
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
I have long been captivated by the Apostle Paul’s admonition to pray without ceasing. Rather than seeing this as a burden to pray longer or pray harder, I take this as an encouragement to be ready to pray often and in all circumstances. Prayer is not something to be deferred; it is a privilege to be experienced every time the opportunity presents itself.
One of the things I cherish when we gather for Sunday worship is how often I get to pray with people. As conversation unfolds, there is typically the expression of needs or challenges (we all have them!). It is good to say “I will pray for you;” it is even better to say “let’s pray now.”
You may have noticed me on Sundays huddled in quiet moments with small groups of people in the sanctuary, in the narthex, in the Link, at the coffee cart. Usually that means we are praying. Truly, that is one of my greatest joys as a pastor.
I participate in a lot of meetings: staff meetings, session meetings, committee meetings, etc. Almost always issues arise or decisions need to be made. It is good to say “let’s commit to pray for that;” it is even better to say “let’s pray now.”
At Hope Church we are known for many things. That we are centered in Christ. That we are grounded in Scripture. That we deeply engage our neighborhood in fellowship and service.
Let us be known as well as a congregation that prays without ceasing. Our hallways filled with groups huddled in prayer. Our meetings filled with many moments of prayer. Our people ready to pray now.
Prayer connects us with God, from whom all blessings flow, reminding us we are not alone. Prayer connects us with each other, uniting us in the bond of fellowship, reminding us are not alone.
The poet Joseph Scriven, writing sometime around 1855, encourages us not to miss the blessing of praying without ceasing.
What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer!
by Pastor David Lenz