For the last week or so I have been really wrestling with what this verse means. I cannot seem to get it out of my head. I mean, really, what does Paul (the author of 1 Thessalonians) mean when he says this? How do I do this in my own life?
As I have studied and thought about this over the last week, I have come to understand that in this verse Paul is talking about living in an attitude of prayer – having a constant communication with God through-out the day. One of the authors I was reading on this topic described it in a way that made so much sense to me and I cannot put it in better words, so I will quote them:
When Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 that we should pray continually, he is saying that we should be talking to God regularly – both in specific times set aside for prayer and in moments through-out our days as we feel the need.
“Prayer should be the constant attitude of the Christian – not that he
abandons regular duties and gives himself wholly to prayer. He prays at certain
regular times; he also prays extemporaneously as need arises; and he enjoys
continual communion with the Lord by prayer.” (Believer’s Bible
Praying continually is not only possible, it is the better way to live!
When we pray through-out our days, it does not have to be something where we stop what we are doing and get our knees and start with the same words we were taught to as children. We can just cry out to God in the midst of whatever we are doing at the time. There is definitely a time and a place for setting a block of time aside to spend in prayer, but we can also be in communication with God through prayer through-out our days.