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"The entrance of thy words giveth light (Psalm 119:130)."

Pray Without Ceasing?

"Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NASB)."

"Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray (James 5:13 NIV)."

Pray without ceasing? What does that mean? The adverb translated "without ceasing" was used in the original Greek text to refer to a hacking cough. A hacking cough is not something that consistently occurs all the time. But it does keep coming back.

We're always thinking. And the Devil has a particular interest in influencing our thought life. There are plenty of thoughts that are pleasant, constructive or simply necessary. No one is saying you shouldn't entertain these thoughts.

However, there are other thoughts which result in emotional distress or are sinful. And these are the thoughts that need to be avoided as much as possible. But how?

Certainly, in the context of spiritual warfare, you need to use all of God's Word; no question about that. But prayer is one of your spiritual weapons—and most Christians don't use it nearly enough.

"Pray without ceasing." Get in the habit of coming back to God in prayer throughout the day.

In particular, when you find yourself thinking about things that you know will bring you down, you should be praying instead. And you should keep coming back to prayer until you are able to refocus your mind on something pleasant or constructive.

"No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me (John 15:4 NIV)."

Prayer is a powerful spiritual weapon. Use it liberally to stay connected with God and to avoid entertaining thoughts that will only bring you down.

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Scripture quotations marked "NKJV™" are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission. (www.Lockman.org).

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.