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Spiritual Attitude
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I Thessalonians 5:17 says to “pray without ceasing.” That used to bother me just a little. I mean, how can I pray without ceasing when I have to work, go to school, take care of kids,eat, and sleep?  If I pray without ceasing, I won’t get anything else done. Surely that couldn’t be what God had in mind.

Then I came to realize that to pray without ceasing actually means to be in a constant attitude of prayer. In other words, while I’m going through my day and events unfold, am I in an attitude that would be compatible with prayer if I should stop to have a word with the Lord? For example, let’s say I’m having a humdinger of a day at work. Everything that can go wrong, is. Everyone who can get on my last nerve, is dancing all over it. Every telemarketer listed in the "800" listings is dialing my phone. I know that I need to pray for strength. But do I do it? That’s the test of whether I am in an attitude of prayer or not. If it is a natural thought for me to stop for a moment and pray for endurance, then I have maintained my attitude of prayer. I have prayed without ceasing. But if I know I need to stop and pray, but I don’t feel like it or don’t want to, then I may need to adjust my attitude.

Some Guidelines

So, how can we keep ourselves in an attitude of prayer, so that we can follow this instruction of praying without ceasing? Here are some guidelines:

1) Spend time first thing each day in intentional prayer and Bible reading. This sets the pattern of our prayer attitude for the day.

2) Pray for others throughout the day. Intercessory prayer is a powerful tool in keeping a fresh spiritual attitude. A simple list of names to keep with you through the day can remind you to send up a brief prayer for someone when you have a moment.

3) Be aware of things to be grateful for throughout the day and briefly say, “Thanks, God.” And remember that trials are often blessings in disguise. Thank God for that too.

4) If you get a chance, hum some of your favorite spiritual songs. If you aren’t in a situation where you can hum aloud, think about the words.

Praying without ceasing is not a burden, but a blessing. A blessing that comes naturally when we make an intentional effort to shape our spiritual attitude.

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By Gwen Simmons. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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