TEXT: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Rejoice evermore.
17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
— PRAYER —
We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 340 messages in this series.
This is message #341 titled, Rejoice, Pray, Give Thanks, Repeat, Part 6.
Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown said, “The Greek [of verse 17] is, ‘Pray without intermission’ — without allowing prayerless gaps to intervene between the times of prayer.”
Charles Spurgeon said, “We may be certain that whatever God has made prominent in his Word, he intended to be conspicuous in our lives. If he has said much about prayer, it is because he knows we have much need of it. So deep are our necessities, that until we are in heaven we must not cease to pray.”
In this mini-series in a series we have talked about the importance of rejoicing evermore and praying without ceasing. As Christians, we are called to do both. Yet, it seems that many believers find doing so difficult. Most of us, if we do them at all, are inconsistent. But, with the power of the Holy Spirit, we do not have to be. We can rejoice evermore, and we can pray without ceasing.
Regarding this passage, Joseph Exell writes, “There are two modes of praying mentioned in Scripture: the one is prayer at set times and places and in set forms. The other is what the text speaks of — continual or habitual prayer. The former of these is what is commonly called prayer, whether it be public or private. The other kind of praying may also be called holding communion with God, or living in God’s sight, and this may be done all through the day, wherever we are, and it is commanded of us as the duty, or rather the characteristic, of those who are really servants and friends of Jesus Christ.
“I fear that most men and neither pray at fixed times, nor do they cultivate a habitual communion with Almighty God. Indeed, most men pray now and then, when they feel particular need of God’s assistance; when they are in trouble or in apprehension of danger; or when their feelings are unusually excited. They do not know what it is either to be habitually religious or to devote a certain number of minutes at fixed times to the thought of God. Let any man compare in his mind how many times he has prayed when in trouble with how seldom he has returned thanks when his prayers have been granted; or the earnestness with which he prays against expected sufferings with the languor and unconcern of his thanksgivings afterwards, and he will soon see how little he has of the real habit of prayer, and how much his prayer life depends on accidental excitement, which is no test of a faithful heart.
“We must ask ourselves: Is God habitually in our thoughts? Do we think of Him and of His Son our Saviour through the day? When we eat and drink, do we thank Him, not as a mere matter of form, but in spirit? When we do things in themselves right, do we lift up our minds to Him and desire to promote His glory?”
The lack of the exercise of prayer is one of the great tragedies of modern Christianity. Yet, prayer is one of the few things that the Bible commands us to do “without ceasing.” That, along with what we see in this passage — rejoicing and giving thanks. So, why is it that many have ceased praying? There is no set amount of prayer that we must engage in or length of time that we must spend praying. Yet, many Christians will admit to struggling with their prayer life.
J. Hart wrote:
Prayer is appointed to convey
The blessings God designs to give:
Long as they live should Christians pray;
They learn to pray when first they live.
If pain afflict or wrongs oppress;
If cares distract or fears dismay;
If guilt deject, if sin distress;
In every case still watch and pray.
‘Tis prayer supports the soul that’s weak,
Though thought be broken, language lame;
Pray, if thou canst or canst not speak,
But pray with faith in Jesus’ name.
Depend on him, thou canst not fail;
Make all thy wants and wishes known;
Fear not, his merits must prevail;
Ask but in faith, it shall be done.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.