Rejoice always, pray continually. (1 Thess. 5:16–17)

As a very young person, I distinctly remember being confused by today’s key verse. It seemed unreasonable to me for God to expect a person to pray continuously, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. How was a person to ever earn a living, go to school, have any hobbies, or participate in any sports if he or she was always on their knees praying to God?

Much later in life, I finally saw the distinction between praying continuously as opposed to continually. Continuously means without stopping. Continually implies picking up where you left off. Sometimes when I am driving along on the highway, I just naturally and spontaneously start talking to God, telling him how much I admire the beauty of the sunset he painted or the diversity of his creation.

The apostle Paul encouraged believers to have a similar ongoing conversation with God, to feel the freedom to talk to him frequently and naturally throughout the day. Sometimes we feel the need to begin prayer times by reintroducing ourselves to God: “Hey God, remember me? We talked last month.” But we are already known by him. Part of having an intimate and mature relationship with God means we can just pick up the conversation with God where we last left it and keep it going.

Weave continual prayer into the natural rhythm of your day.

Stephen Elliott serves as national superintendent of The Wesleyan Church of Canada and part-time teacher at Kingswood University. He is a happy grandfather of four girls.

© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.