Developing a Rhythm of Continuous Prayer

“Pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17, NIV).

“Pray without ceasing” (ESV).

“Never stop praying” (NLT).

“Pray constantly” (CSB).

“Pray all the time” (MSG).

In case you still need one more, here it is in the greek (screen shot from the Blue Letter Bible app):

Wow, these translations really drive the point home, don’t they? The command is crystal clear. But let’s be honest, sometimes it’s easier said than done. If I’m honest, prayer is one of the harder spiritual disciplines for me, which is why I wanted to write about this topic.

I enjoy my quiet time, and I enjoy journaling. But the idea of praying constantly doesn’t leave much margin for this introvert.

Here’s what I’ve discovered though: it’s not about being an introvert or an extrovert. The real challenge lies in my sin nature (see Romans 3:23) and my limited understanding of God’s character, who He truly is—my Creator, Redeemer, Pursuer of my heart.

Thankfully, I have God’s Word to guide me and reveal Himself to me. In His Word, I meet my Creator, discover His heart, and learn to enjoy His presence. When I grow in my understanding of who He is, prayer then becomes more than a mere item on my to-do list, right? It becomes as essential as breathing.

So how do I get there? How do I develop a rhythm of continuous prayer that makes my heart beat a little faster in anticipation as I meet with my Abba Father, the Creator of the Universe?

Now, I don’t have all the answers, but I’m finding two key aspects to consider: prayer practices and prayer postures. Let’s dive into each of them and explore how to live out Paul’s direction in 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

Prayer Practices

  1. Establish a daily prayer routine: Just like kids thrive on routines, we adults are no different. When we have a set routine, we can focus more on the content of our prayers rather than the practice of prayer. So, set aside specific times each day to pray and pair them with existing habits. Pray while brushing your teeth or making breakfast. By integrating prayer into our routines, we create space to focus on our prayers.
  2. Use reminders: Sticky notes, alarms, or any visual cues can be a great way to prompt us to pray throughout the day. Stick notes in your planner, on your dashboard, or even on your cell phone (yes, I’m guilty of that one!). These reminders help keep prayer at the forefront of our minds.
  3. Pray during mundane tasks: Turn those mundane tasks like washing dishes, doing laundry, or mowing the lawn into opportunities for prayer. Instead of finding them boring or monotonous, they become acts of worship, as we connect with the Lord.
  4. Utilize prayer apps or devotionals: Take advantage of technology by installing prayer apps or using devotionals that provide reminders and prompts for prayer throughout the day. These tools can jump-start our prayer time and lead us into more vibrant conversations with the Lord.
  5. Keep a prayer journal: (You knew journaling would make the list, didn’t you?) Keeping a prayer journal helps us maintain focus during prayer and serves as a tangible record of God’s faithfulness.
  6. Practice breath prayers: When words fail us, remember Romans 8:26, which assures us that the Spirit intercedes for us. It’s okay not to have eloquent words. Sometimes, simply praying the name of Jesus repeatedly can be a powerful prayer in itself.
  7. Engage with scripture regularly: Incorporating scripture into our prayers adds depth and aligns our prayers with God’s will. Praying God’s own words brings our hearts closer to His.
  8. Find accountability partners: Connect with fellow believers who share a desire for continuous prayer. By sharing progress, challenges, and prayer requests, we can encourage and support one another on this journey.
  9. Seek solitude and silence: I know it’s hard in our loud and busy culture, but let’s just do it—make intentional time for solitude with God. Set aside quiet moments, free from distractions, to engage in deep, focused prayer.
  10. Memorize Scripture: Knowing and memorizing scripture helps us keep our minds centered on God and His Word. It forms a solid foundation for continuous prayer.

Prayer Postures

  1. Take every thought captive (see 2 Corinthians 10:5): Instead of letting our minds wander aimlessly, maintain an ongoing conversation with God. Let every thought be taken captive and presented before the Lord.
  2. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude (see 6 Practical Ways to Demonstrate Thankfulness): Make gratitude a habit. Express thankfulness to God throughout the day, cultivating a heart that is constantly in a state of prayer and thanksgiving.
  3. Pray for others immediately: When someone shares a need or concern, don’t just say, “I’ll pray for you.” Take a moment right then and there to pray together. Let’s shift our language to “Let’s pray” and offer immediate prayers of intercession.
  4. Embrace short, spontaneous prayers: Remember that prayer doesn’t always have to be long and formal. Offer quick, heartfelt prayers in response to situations as they arise. These sincere prayers reflect a heart postured in continuous conversation with God.

Dear friends, I don’t have all the answers. I certainly don’t do all of these practices well, and I often fall short in having a posture of prayer. Thinking about this list and choosing one or two to focus on each day is helpful. Ultimately, my goal for continuous prayer is to maintain a constant awareness and ongoing conversation with our Creator throughout the day. Let’s embrace this challenge together and discover the depth of relationship and intimacy we can experience with our Heavenly Father through continuous prayer.


Let’s journal:

  • Be honest with yourself. What does prayer look like for you right now?
  • Which of these practices and postures resonated with you as you consider prayer?
  • Consider using some of the scripture from this blog post as you write out a prayer to the Lord.

Supplies:

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Comments

2 responses to “Developing a Rhythm of Continuous Prayer”

  1. Debbie T Avatar
    Debbie T

    This post made me think about the ‘mindful living’ practices I hear about so much lately. While I absolutely get the benefits of slowing down and noticing life and living in the moment, your post made me think that the real key to benefiting from mindfulness is combining it with prayer postures. Slowing down and tasting what I eat is good but combining that with a prayer of thanksgiving at the wonderful flavors God has given us is truly being mindful. Just think about how loving it is to provide us with so many magnificent flavors. God’s attention to the smallest details of our life amazes me. Mindfulness is good, but true mindfulness is being aware of who provides us with all we experience and giving thanks to Him.

  2. […] my pride, I find peace. (Feel free to check out more about creating rhythms of prayer from this blog […]

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