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Prayer Without Ceasing? by Merwin Severtson
How does one do that?
Jesus through Paul, did not give much past the encouragement to do so, what did he mean... pray without ceasing.
There was a turn of the 19th to the 20th century preacher in the British Isles somewhere... I forget his name, who told this story in a book and I think, preached it in a message. He said that every man in England wore hats when outside, not to wear a hat was the equivalent of not knowing when to come in out of the rain.
This preacher... I wish I could remember his name(read it along time ago), went on to testify that the only time men would take off their hats outside was when they prayed... at wakes, outside services and whatnot. I hope I am recounting this accurately, its from memory.
He was walking to some function one day and was praying while he walked, and of course he was wearing his hat. The Lord impressed upon him to remove his hat while praying even when it was just himself alone with the Lord, even while walking out in public or through the countryside going here or there. And he obeyed and soon he was going here and there always removing his hat while talking with the Lord. Eventually he found himself carrying his hat from place to place, not wearing it at all... just carrying it.
People looked at him like he was goofy, then the Lord gave him a message to preach about praying without ceasing, and explain that this was the reason he simply carried his hat from place to place without wearing it, and after preaching this message, he quit taking his hat with him. It was just a few months before all men were leaving there hats at home.
The thing God used this for was to aprise men of the value of constant communing with their Father. I don't think God has an attitude about hats.
I ask the question again... how is this, prayer without ceasing, accomplished?
I believe the Lord explained this pretty good for me a long time ago, even before having read this book.
For me communications with the Lord is not formal, it is intimate. He explained it in my guts like this...
He is so interwoven into who we are that we, most of the time, are unaware of his abiding presence. He is 24/7 dwelling in our persons tenderly involved with our thoughts, desires, cares and intentions.
He described to me that... to know this, to want this, to embrace this reality is to be in constant prayer. To have the committed intent, that we want His constant access and care for our thoughts and feelings, is a condition of praying without ceasing. For you to become aware that He loves you and knows your heart and savors these intentions of yours is precious to Him.
Certainly we have more formal operations of prayer, and those are proper and useful in their place, but in our hearts, in the center of our being, let us embrace Him, for He is embracing us. This is prayer without ceasing.