1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
I wonder at Your love. I am struck by the magnitude of what You have done for us, even as we essentially spit back at You, holding ourselves as idols, rather than ascribing You the glory that You deserve. I run to Your loving arms in weakness, only to turn back, say, “Thanks for the refill!” and sever my line to You. I run back into the world with my own agenda, following my own desires. Help me to recognize my self-focus - my pride - more clearly. The moment I take my eyes off of you, I place them on myself or some other idol.
Thank You that when I pray to You, it helps me to not only practice Your presence, but also to keep my eyes upon You. I may pray with my own selfish desires, but You provide even for that, in “translating,” if you will, through Your Holy Spirit. Your Holy Spirit takes my selfish prayers and relates to You what I really need. (Romans 8:26) Thank You, too, for Answering those Prayers.
Thank You, Lord, for the grace that You bestow upon Your children in the gift of the ability to pray without ceasing. You are always there listening, and always working on behalf of our good and Your glory (Romans 8:28). Thank You for this invaluable tool to help us keep our focus on You. Help me to use it, Lord, truly unceasingly. I don’t take advantage nearly often enough, and yet it is a part of Your will for me - yet another tool You have graced us with to help us follow You.
Teach me to look first to Your will, to check in with You, to dialogue with You, to check my thinking constantly against Your Word. To always be thinking of You, to always be praying to You. In moments of victory and moments of weakness; in difficult and contented times, let my focus and my hope be ever fixed upon You.
In Jesus’ Name, amen.