Pray without Ceasing
Amen need not be an End
the will of God is easy in areas made clear in Scripture, eg:
“Rejoice always, pray
without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the
will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess 5:16).
OK, we know the will of God in these
verses… but we also ask: 'how can we pray without ceasing' ?
To cease praying means having an end
to prayer. This raises the thought provoking question: do we need to end
prayer ~ often indicated by the word "amen"?
It may help to refresh the
meaning of "Amen". Biblical dictionaries tell us that amen is a transliteration of a Hebrew word signifying something as certain, sure and valid, truthful and faithful. It is sometimes translated,
"so be it." Amen may confirm what already is, or it may indicate a hope for something desired. In Jewish prayer,
amen comes at the end as an affirmative response to a statement or wish made by others, and is so used in the New Testament.
But this affirmation doesn't have to
be the END of
our prayer status. Rather it is an expression of faith as we move on. So we can say
"amen" as an affirmation rather than an END. In
this way we can see ourselves in a continuing disposition of
communication with our Lord. We
get on with things, but as we go, we are continuing on the basis of
our active relationship with God.
Take an airliner as an example. The Commander
of the flight is in ultimate charge of the aircraft and occupants, even
though he is not staring at the instruments every second. This is
remarkable. A great aluminum tube hurtling through the sky with hundreds
of souls trusting the pilots. The pilots only have to relate to each
other and to Air Traffic Control according to operational procedures.
But their state of relationship and communication is continuously open.
Similarly prayer without ceasing is
staying in the flow with the Holy Spirit - living in a disposition of
with God. At times we may be absorbed by our
work, or taking a needed rest - but we are still spiritually in touch with God...
We are not thinking up prayer sentences all the time, but also other stuff,
such as listening, giving thanks, restoring an issue, relating to God through his word,
helping someone in need, relating to the touch of God in someone else's
life, forgiving someone, sensing the prompting of the Spirit, enjoying God's presence in
peace, or having good fun in fellowship with others.
Prayer without ceasing - living with God
without end - enjoy!