Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 November 2014 1 Thessalonians 5:17

1 Thessalonians 5:17.      PRAY WITHOUT CEASING.

And now that it’s Saturday my brethren, what’s on the agenda eh?  I do hope that whatever you have planned includes ample time for God; sufficient time to relieve some of the stress and strain of the past workweek.
 
I’d certainly advise that before you do anything else today, to spend some quiet time with the Father; tell Him your woes and problems, give them to Him, because that’s what He wants; to relieve you of all your heavy burdens and give you His light burden and easy yoke. (Matt.11:28-30)   
 
But please remember to also thank Him for your many blessings… and you do have a lot to be thankful for if you are living in the Western world. You might not think so, but just compare your situation to the billions of others around the world who are living in so much worse situations than yours; so many in real abject poverty.
 
As the saying goes, there’s always someone worse off than us. And if you still want to complain after that, then may the Lord be with you. (smile)
 
Now here’s a little something that caught my fancy from the One Year Book of Bible Promises. It’s simply titled, ‘The Reason.’ ‘God, why am I so often defeated? Why am I so full of dread and anxiety? Why am I so lamentably weak – So perilously susceptible to temptation?
 
Why am I often inhospitable So intolerant of the needs of others? Why am I so undisciplined  So restless and dissatisfied? Why do I protest so violently? Above all, God Why do I so frequently lose The sense of Your Shining Presence? God, why?  Why?’
 
And Friends, the answer is what titillated my spirit when I first read it. ‘Because you pray so little.’
 
Oh my people those five words are filled with so much truth, it’s not funny! We will indeed feel that lost, undisciplined, weak and inhospitable state when our prayer life is not up to scratch! It’s like taking medication for an illness, and for whatever reason we let it peter off or simply stop it. The illness most likely won’t get better, because the body needs whatever is in the medication to right itself.
 
Prayer is like that to the human spirit my brethren. If we don’t do it consistently, then our spirits experience serious upheaval, with little or no joy, peace and LOVE.  And the biblical promise for that upheaval of spirit was ‘Keep on praying.’ That’s the New Life Bible version of our Bit: ‘Pray without ceasing.’
 
I prefer our old fashioned statement though, because I believe it says more, conveys a deeper meaning than just ‘keep on praying,’ which simply assumes that you have been praying. Whereas our Bit is more like a direct command: ‘Pray without ceasing.’  
 
And I think that is brought out in the scholars’ explanation. ‘5:17. The Greek word here rendered without ceasing is used in secular literature to denote a man suffering from an intermittent cough – one that is not continuous, but occurs at intervals. Just as this individual has the tendency to cough, though does not always do so audibly, so the believer ought to remain in the attitude of prayer though not always praying audibly.’
 
Yes my people, a constant stream of communication with our heavenly Father is most beneficial in this earthly life. Here’s how Bruh Paul told it to the Ephesians, after advising them to never be without their spiritual armour. (Eph.6:10-17)
 
‘Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.’ (Eph.6:18)
 
And the scholars’ tell us: ‘6:18. Praying is grammatically linked to “stand” in verse 4. Without prayer God’s armour is inadequate to achieve victory. Prayer is indispensable. Always means “on every occasion,” that is, when Satan attacks.
 
In the Spirit signifies that with the Spirit’s help such prayer for divine aid is to be made. Watching thereunto means “being vigilant in this very matter” of prayer. They are to pray not just for themselves but also for all saints; spiritual combat is both an individual and corporate matter.’
 
All of that is oh so true my people! Prayer is indispensable! As believers, we simply can’t do without it. And the Holy Spirit was gifted to us to help us with prayer, which ought to be made both for ourselves and all other believers.
 
Remember, we are individuals on one level, but on another, we are also one body in Christ Jesus, and we sink or swim together! That’s something I don’t think we consider enough in these modern times, because individuality is touted around the world as being so important.
 
Anyway Friends, let’s close with the statement after our Bit; another positive one that again reads more like a command. ‘In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.’ (1 Thess.5:18)
 
That too my people is indispensable for all true believers! The importance of giving thanks can never be underestimated.
 
And the scholars explain that verse thus: ‘5:18. In every event or circumstance (thing) the Christian is to give thanks to God for the good He can bring out of the event, even should the event be unpleasant. The constant attitude of prayer, mentioned in verse 17, will help the believer maintain gratitude in the face of adversity.’
 
And that’s gospel truth Friends; constant prayer will help us with constant giving of thanks, even in the worse of situations. So let’s get a move on now, let’s pray with a thankful attitude! That is the wisdom of the ages! Much LOVE!
 
…prayer and the giving of thanks…are inseparable entities in a true believer’s life…

 

 

 

 

 
 

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