unceasing prayer

Probably five years ago, I was driving through the county with my little sister and one of her close friends in the back seat. Her friend lives in a very rural area and we were blasting music with windows down, being silly. We approached a stop sign and saw a white van coming from the other direction. Suddenly, my sister yelps and points out that the driver in the van was her friend's dad. As we passed, they both waved wildly and called out to get his attention, but his straight-facing vision never wavered. His lips were moving slightly but we couldn't hear any music. Laughing, we passed unnoticed. As we did so, her friend stated, "Oh, he's probably just praying! He's always doing that!"

At the time, it seemed so strange, that we all laughed and went back to our jam session. But for some reason, that moment has always stayed with, and been ever more present in my mind of late. Though I know this girl's parents to both be truly wonderful examples of Christ, it was still so bizarre to consider that he might be praying aloud while driving alone down a country road. Yet, what a more perfect model of I Thessalonians 5:17.

16 "Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."    1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

This always seemed like such an impossible command. How could God expect us to actually pray "without ceasing"? I've heard a lot of sermons on how this intendeds for us to be in a "spirit of prayer" throughout the day. But what if we take it literally. Yes, stay in a spirit of prayer, but how many of us take time periodically throughout the day to pray, not just during our set aside devotional time or during crisis. Like those quiet moments at stoplights, during a TV commercial, waiting in line at the grocery store, or while folding clean laundry. Let's just say it's not usually the first thing that my brain defaults to, don't know about you.

What sticks out to me even more now is that his daughter's first reaction to such focus was prayer. It was her initial, unquestioning assumption that he was praying. To me, that loudly proclaims that he must demonstrate such unceasing devotion during all circumstances and times of day. I can only hope that someday I will be such an honest example to my children. What a goal to keep in mind...to be known so profoundly as a wife and mother devoted to constant communication with Christ! For now, I'll start small...in line at Walmart seems like an opportune time to practice.

Sidenote, I've been singing this song in my head all weekend...and love it!

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