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Shield Daily Devotional  

Day 173

The Amplified Bible translates 1 Thessalonians 5:17 as follows: "Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly]." We are to pray and not quit. We are not to give up just because things don't look like God is at work. One of the aspects of this type of unceasing prayer is the attitude of perseverance. Just like a child cries when he is hungry until the need is met, so should we cry unto our Heavenly Father until our need is met.

In the Everyday Life Bible, Joyce Meyer explains the verse as follows: "He meant that prayer should be like breathing, something we do continually but often unconsciously, without even being totally aware of it.You and I live by breathing. Our physical lives require that we inhale and exhale, and the air we breathe sustains our bodies. In the same way, our spiritual lives are designed to be nurtured and sustained by prayer. Religious thinking sometimes gives us the mistaken idea that if we do not keep up a certain schedule of prayer we miss the mark. We have become too "clock-oriented" concerning prayer.
The Lord gave me the following example to illustrate the way we are to pray: Just as we breathe all day long but never spend time counting our breaths, so we are to pray all day long without keeping track of our prayers. I have never carried a clock around with me for reminding me to breathe every so many seconds. I have never come home from work at night and written in a journal how many times I breathed that day. I just breathe when I need to, continually, without even being aware that I am doing it. That is the way we are to be about our prayers.

When prayer is compared to breathing, we begin to understand how this can be done continually. We breathe all day naturally; we can pray all day naturally. How? We do so by staying in constant communion with Him all day. This involves not being disobedient to the known will of God, faithful study of His Word and having an attitude of receiving from Him at every moment. This is a lifestyle choice. We are to live a lifestyle of acknowledging God all day and not just on Sunday mornings. Today, let prayer be as basic to your life as breathing. Remember the phrase "pray without ceasing." As you do, you are ready to receive from the Almighty, Now you are living a prayer filled life.

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