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Shield Daily Devotional  

Day 176

Today we conclude our look at 1 Thessalonians 5:17: "Pray without ceasing." As we do so, it is proper to consider the difficulties of obeying this command. Often I hear the words, "I've tried but it is too difficult to pray all day." My response is that we do what we want to do most of the time. Several years ago, my wife Susan and I had some financial set backs. The short story is that we didn't have enough money to meet our basic expenses. When we woke up in the morning we thought about those money problems. At breakfast, lunch and dinner and in between those money problems were constantly on our mind. At bedtime, guess what we were thinking about? Our money problems had been in our thoughts the entire day and tomorrow would be a duplicate of the day before until they were solved. It dawned on me that I had the ability to be consumed with something the entire day. If I could focus on my problem all day, I could focus on praying all day. The issue wasn't ability, it was my desire and focus.

Philip Doddridge explained it as follows: "And in order to maintain and improve this holy joy, pray incessantly. Be consistent in your stated devotions at their returning seasons, and endeavor to keep your minds habitually prepared for those pious [out pourings] which have so happy a tendency to promote the Christian temper, or for any sudden call you may have to address yourselves more solemnly to the Divine Majesty."

You see, you can pray without ceasing when you stay ready to hear from God, think about God and when the occasion permits, speak to Him. Learning to do this will radically affect your life for good. Spending every day with the Lord will change you. It will bring about self-control and you will see the fruits of the Spirit being manifested in your life. Take a 21 day challenge to commit to pray without ceasing. You will never regret it if you do!
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