“Pray without ceasing…for THIS IS the will of God for YOU in Christ Jesus”- 1 Thessalonians  5:17-18

We have all had them, or heard someone who has. A hacking cough! it does not mean they or you were coughing continuously but REGULARLY INTERRUPTING…THIS IS the way the word ” without ceasing or unceasing” was used in its original sense- regular interruptions. This is what praying “without ceasing” means – to regularly interrupt what we are doing with shooting up prayers to God, YOUR Heavenly Father!

I couldn’t help but smile as I WAS STUDYING THIS as I had a cough… every so often I was clearing my throat with a cough. A REFLEX. I was REGULARLY having to cough to clear my throat… at regular interval’s- such is what the word picture of “praying without ceasing” is. It has nothing to do with posture, place of prayer, but the liberating fact that any place, any time is suitable to come before the throne of Grace to offer up a prayer to your Heavenly Father “…whose ear is ATTENTIVE to your prayers”- 1 Peter 3:12. Isn’t that good news.

 There are 4 uses of “without ceasing “ {adialeiptos} in the NT – and they all have to do with PRAYER.

  •  Rom 1:9 ” For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you…”
  • 1 Thess 1:2- “We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly {without ceasing} mentioning you in our prayers,
  •  1 Thess 2:13 – ” And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a  human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.”
  •  1 Thess 5:17 – “PRAY WITHOUT CEASING”

THE Greek word is used to describe that which is CONTINUOUSLY DONE. It was used in society at the time to speak of a repeated military attack… a repeated hacking cough…regular and consistent production of fruit .

But when the Holy Spirit uses it in His Word He has Paul ALWAYS REFER TO IT in connection with PRAYING…as that which is continuously performed.

It is a new way of thinking and a new habit which God grants and the believer is to AVAIL of and be ALERT To the OPPORTUNITIES around him or her to turn their circumstances, what they see into prayers of praise, to turn their Awareness of people around them to turn them into opportunities to lift that person before the LORD. It is to live consciously in dependence upon God and trusting He will remind you and break in on your thinking and remind you to PRAY. It is as one writer put it,

 “Pray every time an opportunity presents itself and be in a constant attitude of dependence upon God.

It does not imply we should neglect everything and utter unending prayer or abstain from work and cloister ourselves in a monastery where we can constantly pray. But it does mean we are ready to pray at a “moment’s notice.”


It is to see life, the people and circumstances you find yourself in and turn into regular interruptions throughout the hour, day and relating them to God through prayers. It is to relate all things to God. In the circumstances you find yourself in…

1. -It is to BE God conscious,

2. – It is to be PEOPLE conscious.

This is what loving God affords us to relate all to Him and to bring others before Him.

It is to see the beauty of a sunrise and to tell Him and thank Him.

It is to see the difficulty of a situation and ask Him for help.

It is to be overwhelmed and not knowing what to do and casting- your cares upon Him and asking him for wisdom.

It is to see the hurt of others and pray to Him for His comfort for them.

It is to relate all things to Him and bring people before Him in prayer.

Paul does this as you read Ephesians, Colossians, Phillipians, Thessalonians. He is speaking and then he INTERJECTS A PRAYER FOR THEM {see Phil 1:3-6 and 9-11– as an example.} This was so natural to him, and it can be for you and me too as we ask God to make this a reality in our living- TEACH US TO PRAY . He will work the desire and the doing in and through us. -Phil 2:12-13.

How do I know for certain?

Look at what the Scripture says “For THIS IS GOD’S WILL FOR YOU in Christ Jesus.”- 1 Thess 5:18.

We often struggle and wonder about things concerning God’s will but here He reveals His will for us, “pray without ceasing…for this is God’s will for you in Christ.” As believers we can say this to ourselves and other believers, that in the NOW- this Moment- This is not only God’s command to continuously is to be as the NEW HABIT of our lives, “Pray without Ceasing” but to Know- THIS IS GODS WILL FOR YOU. And with this command comes His enabling and the ability to do so-Phil 2:12-13

 This is a COMMAND from God.

This is to be continuous- The way it is written grammatically. It is to be NEW HABIT for us

This COMMAND comes, guaranteed for the follower of Christ…that WE CAN LIVE SO!
This is God’s REVEALED will for you... now and for the rest of your days on earth, irrespective of your circumstances. How do you know? It is written, “For this IS {present tense} the will of …{whom?}…God … { to who?} YOU …In Christ Jesus” – to all who are in relationship In Christ Jesus, this is God’s will for you, there is no doubt, this is true, and to be embraced and worked out!

We don’t need to “wonder” is this what God has for me. IT IS! We don’t need to have a consultation, we have His Revealed will in His Word for us! How kind is He. We don’t have to guess. “It is written…” The question is will we choose to Obey His command?

The Objection our deviant hearts often raise is “yes I know… BUT…” There always seems to be a “but…” we are not content with God Himself very often and what He wants. Our tendency can be “what’s in it for me?” We lose sight of God blinded by our own selfishness and miss out on God’s privilege and call to pray… we want to know something else and we end up missing the opportunity to DO HIS WILL and to honor Him and express love to Him in obeying Him {John 14:21}… we miss the opportunity to co labor with Him in prayer and see His Name glorified and develop a deeper dependence and devotion upon and to Him.

We end up missing Him in the moment Though we may retreat back to having our “quiet time” and perhaps even falling into the error that we have “checked” one more thing of our list and go out into our day smug in the assurance we have had one- and that somehow in our works orientated mentality feel God is now obligated- to me- to cause life to work out that day the way I want!

How easy it is to live by a “list” and miss HIM the rest of the day! Life in fellowship with Him is then relegated and replaced with “a list.”It is neither personal, heart stirring, awe inspiring but simply a lifeless “list!”


This is a command. It is neither optional or to be ruled by circumstances or “feelings”. It is a command that is to develop and be cultivated as a new and continuous habit of your daily living. It is an attitude to be alert and available to see life- all of it through your relationship with God and concern for others. It has nothing to do with closing your eyes, the place of prayer but the attitude of prayer. “ALWAYS AVAILABLE, could be your new motto! Paul put it this way in Ephesians 6:18-19-“Be on the alert” and he tells us how to stay “alert” in Colossians 4:2- “…keeping alert through THANKSGIVING,”

When you see things… turn what you see into prayers.

When you think of someone turning your thoughts of people into prayers for them.

The Holy Spirit will work this new attitude into you as you continually look to God to teach you and walk in obedience with Him.


When conscious of sin in your own life, pray, confess repent and return to your watch as a praying individual about God’s Kingdom business while here on earth.

Your surroundings, circumstances, people in your realm are all candidates and opportunities for you to speak to God about them and show concern about them through praying.

The word,” TO PRAY,” is a wonderful opportunity where God bids you commune with Him- to speak to Him- friend to Friend!



Isaiah our youngest child was about six years old at the time I was sharing with him and Evan who is two years older at the time regarding the verse in Matthew 6:6 – ” But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. ”

One night Isaiah called me. He was in the “closet,” I walked into the small closet and he was sitting on a box under coasts and shirts hanging down around him. Evan not wanting to miss what was happening, followed me in. “Close the door,” Isaiah said with a big smile on his face “Us three are going to be blessed…rewarded. Let’s Pray.” Isaiah had taken the passage literally. He believed if you went into a “closet” and prayed God heard you and promised He would reward you! The good news is a “closet” is a place of aloneness and can be wherever you are! The promise that God rewards, Isaiah had taken the Lord Jesus at His Word!

What are some of the Rewards?

 A. – The greatest REWARD is – Himself- Heb 11:6. Knowing and fellowship with Him which is what “praying without ceasing” ultimately” provides us with the opportunity to turn our thoughts into prayers and commune with God.

B. – The reward of seeing His Fame, His Name been honored and glorified when lives produce spiritual fruit- John 15:7-8 .

C. – There is the “REWARD” of the ASSURANCE of answered prayer;

“This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.”- 1 John 5:14-15, Matt 6:6


There is a great verse and it is  what I call an”obituary” the Holy Spirit had placed in His Word, concerning Epaphras.  “Epaphras, who is one of your number, a bond-slave of Jesus Christ, sends you his greetings, always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God.”- Col 4:12.  Epaphras was laboring {Prayer at times is hard work…}… that they be mature and fully convinced and stand in all the will of God.” Though separated from people through distance, you are not separate from speaking to your Heavenly Father at any time of the day or night in any place. The blood of Jesus guarantees eternal access and you are welcomed as a beloved child of your Heavenly Father to speak to Him, who dearly listens intently, lovingly, and is concerned and you can come to His Throne of Grace to receive grace, mercy and help in time of need. How wonderful is He!

It is not about your LOCATION as so often stress’s us in trying to discern “the will of God.” God is not hiding it from you, He has revealed it to you – but your VOCATION, we all need to understand, whatever your present location is, it is that YOU have the privilege to, “PRAY WITHOUT CEASING…FOR THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD FOR YOU IN CHRIST JESUS.”- 1 Thess 5:17-18

One thing which keeps us from “praying without ceasing” is pride- Self- sufficiency! Even despondency is to fail to look to Him. Whereas “praying without ceasing”- is an acknowledgement of deficiency in oneself apart from the enabling of God to do what only He can do -a “God thing,” which is, DEPENDENCE upon God. Jesus told the disciples, “pray and do not lose heart.”– {Luke 18:1}. The alternative to prayer is to spiritually faint! So, don’t stop praying, it’s the enemy’s trap.



1.- THANK GOD, He has made known to you His revealed will, in His Word for you which is to “pray without ceasing.”

2.- SUBMIT to God…and tell Him you want to obey His will in this matter.

3. – If you have been self sufficient and not God dependent- confess it as sin and begin afresh and ask Him to make you AWARE and ALERT TO pray…in faith. Ask Him to remind and help you to begin or increase this habit of RELATING life to Him and RELATING People to Him in prayer.

4. PUT THIS VERSE in a place you can be reminded of-on a 3 by 5 card perhaps on a mirror in your bathroom, over the sink in your kitchen  where you can see and read each time you are there. For example if you put it on a bath room mirror and each time you brush your teeth you read it, that’s approx 60 times a month before you know it you will have memorized it and the Holy Spirit can remind you and also use you to help remind others. MEDITATE upon GOD’S WILL for you in CHRIST JESUS this day, as revealed in His Word.

5. TURN YOUR THOUGHTS OF PEOPLE INTO PRAYERS TO GOD FOR THEM. If you cant sleep…pray… if someone comes to mind…pray…if you have a problem or a praise…pray…and rejoice He ever lives to intercede and He is PRAYING FOR YOU…EVEN NOW 🙂

6. SHARE WITH SOMEONE THIS WEEK- – WHAT GOD’S REVEALED WILL IS FOR THEM. You can begin by saying something to the effect,”Do you know I have been reminded/ or discovered what it is God wants me to do with my life…it is to “pray without ceasing.” Then perhaps you can Ask them if there is anything you can SPECIFICALLY pray for them about?

Don’t forget the rewards- Himself. LIVES being changed…Assurance of answered prayer…when prayed according to His Will- which is revealed in HIS WORD.

Have a great, great day DOING God’s will – “Praying without Ceasing for THIS IS GOD’S WILL for you in Christ Jesus.”– 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18.