Articles by Stan Dean

Prayer Without Ceasing

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One morning an old farmer entered a fancy city restaurant and ordered his breakfast. When his food arrived he reverently bowed his head in prayer and thanked God for the blessing of what he was about to eat. Some of the other customers sitting nearby had seen the farmer praying and began to snicker. When he finished they asked him, “Old Timer, does everyone say their prayers where you come from?” “Nope,” the old farmer responded rather calmly, “the pigs don’t.”

I don’t think they had any more questions for “Mr. Farmer.” He had answered them well! Prayer should be an integral part of our lives. The Bible teaches that we should “Pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17). Yet, far too many of us fail to pray as we should. So, what is the problem?
For one thing, we are so richly blessed that maybe we take these blessings for granted and forget from whence they came. If so, James reminds us that we would have nothing without God. He penned, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father…” (James 1:17). Everything ultimately belongs to God and we are only stewards of whatever He has entrusted to our care. Thus, He deserves our continual prayers of thanksgiving!

For another thing, maybe we fail to realize the power of prayer. Our problems can seem so big and overwhelming at times that we are left feeling helpless and hopeless. If that is the case, then we can take courage in the following passage: “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think…” (Ephesians 3:20). Paul teaches quite simply that God is greater than our problems and we should never feel that anything is beyond the scope of His power. In short, we should feel confident to pray about anything and everything- - at any time!

More could be said about why we do not pray as we ought, but these verses should provide enough proof to bring us to our knees on a regular basis. When we stop to consider how good and how great God is, then we can understand why not only a farmer, but all of us should “pray without ceasing.”

I conclude with these invaluable words, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6, 7).

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