Posts Tagged ‘Prayer’

Pray Without Ceasing

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

©2012 Stan Hallett

          Pray without ceasing – 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Our relationship with God varies from person to person. Many may only pray when they go to a Church service or when they sit down to a meal. Others more dedicated may have a brief time of prayer at some point through their day. For most, being able to pray without ceasing is an inconceivable notion.

Before we have obeyed the Gospel as laid out before us in John 3:3-5, Acts 2:38, and 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, and are filled with His Spirit, we only have our flesh, our sin nature. After we are born again of the water and of the Spirit, we have a dual nature. We still have our flesh which we will have until we die. But now we also have a new nature which we have in the Holy Ghost.

Part of the problem is that some see this infilling of the Holy Ghost as just an experience that they went through. After a while the “glow” wears off, and depending on the mindset and the desires of the individual, they can fade away back into the world, some quite rapidly. Others seem to be on a typical roller coaster of highs and lows throughout their walk with the Lord. Still a few actually maintain a high level of Godliness, of Holiness, and a close walk with God.

What is the difference between these individuals? What causes one to fade right back into the world and the flesh, and another to maintain a close walk with God? One might recall the teaching of Jesus regarding the parable of the sower in Matthew 13:3-8, 18-23. But I say unto you that stony and hard ground can be cultivated through labor and God’s help. Our soil can be made fertile through cultivating with prayer, and being fertilized with desire. With prayer and the Word of God, weeds can be overcome and rooted out.

First we must have conviction, followed by desire and commitment. We need to implement the tools of change. They are those that work to build our relationship with God, which is the Word of God through study and teaching, and that of prayer. We need to understand and realize that the infilling of the Holy Ghost was not just an experience that we went through. Prior to that event we had God with us, but that now we have God within us (1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19)!

We need to turn off the world. I mean turn off the TV and the computer, turn off the smart phone, the video game, put down the magazine, the newspaper, as well as the hobbies and activities that consume our time and our minds (James 4:4). We need to spend time with God in His Word, and in prayer daily.

When you pray, take time to just praise and worship Him. Bring your petitions, but also take time to listen. Spend some quiet time with the Lord, and let God begin to deal with the issues that need to be rooted out. Get into His Word and begin to build the relationship that God desires to have with you. If it is your desire, eventually it will become easier and more natural. God’s voice will become more clear and distinctive. Your relationship will grow and become your desire over the things of the world. Soon you may find yourself praying without ceasing.

Yes, we have to interact with the world in our work and everyday life. But God wants to be part of your life, and involved with you. It is often thought that God does not want to be bothered with everything in our life, or with matters that are seemingly trivial. That’s a lie! Don’t you believe it! God cares so much about every detail of your life that even the hairs of your head are numbered (Luke 12:7)!

I wake up in the morning, and sometimes He wakes me. The first words out of my mouth and in my heart is praise and thankfulness. I’m in the shower sometimes singing praises to Him, other times just praising His Name. Sometimes I gather my family together if they are up, and we have a time of prayer together. I get in my truck and as I drive to my job, wherever it may be, and I turn the cab of my truck into a prayer room. I am oftentimes driving down the road with tears in my eyes, and I am overwhelmed with His presence. Throughout the day He talks to me, sometimes giving me complete messages. We have ongoing communication all through the day in between my dealings with customers, or business owners, clerks and cashiers.

He orders my footsteps, and He directs my path. If I get a wrong thought, He corrects me with a whisper. If I set off in a wrong direction, He softly nudges me to go the right way. If I lose my focus, He draws me closer. What I know now, I so much wish I had known as a young man. However I am so glad that I did learn it before my time on earth was done. What a loving God! What a Savior! What a Companion and Friend!

Sometimes I am in communication with Him and no one around me knows. Other times His presence is so overwhelming that I have to lift my hands and praise Him, even if I’m in the middle of WalMart.

“Pray without ceasing” is not just an idealistic suggestion, it is a necessary and vital part of our walk with God. It is the solution to roller coaster Christianity. It is the spiritual Weed-B-Gon or Roundup that will keep the cares of this world from overtaking us. It will prevent the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things from entering in, choking the word, and becoming unfruitful.

We’ve all seen the little gardening set of which the primary tools contain a trowel and a cultivator. Prayer without ceasing is a spiritual cultivator that keeps the soil loose, weed free, and prepared to receive the seed of the Word of God. The trowel is what is used to plant the Word of God deep within our prepared soil, by listening to His Voice and reading His Word.

If you could grasp this truth for yourself my friend, oh the joy that is waiting for you! Through every trial, through every tribulation, my course is set. I don’t know all of the waypoints, but I know the destination. I am enjoying the road and I have a peace in knowing that God will see me through.

Prayer without Ceasing” is one of those gems of truth that has become a great treasure to me. I so desire it to become a treasure in your life as well. It’s up to you. What is your desire?

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.


No Oil, No Light

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

©2012 Stan Hallett

Herodian Era Oil LampMatthew 25:1-12
“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.”

I have been a house painting contractor for a good part of my self-employed career. I consider myself to be a pretty good painter, capable of doing some pretty nice work.

The other day I came home from work after stoping at Home Depot to pick up a gallon of redwood stain and sealer to use on my grandson’s playset.

As soon as I got home I went down into the backyard  and began to stain the playset. I worked well into the evening and did not finish until well after dark. I was forced to put on the yard light that helped me to see somewhat, but a lot of the surfaces were still in the dark.

Never-the-less I did my best to stain every surface before stopping for the evening. I figured that I may have missed a few places, thinking that I’d just touch up any misses the next morning.

The next morning I headed out, paint brush and stain in hand. I was very surprised to see how much I had missed. As good as I thought that I was, I still missed a lot. In fact where the playset was completely in the dark I had missed about a third of the surfaces. I really needed light to see what I was doing.

Our walk with the Lord is much the same way. We need to walk in the light (1 John 1:7). We need his illumination to light our way everyday, lest we go off the path and fall into a ditch in darkness.

Our lamps need to burn brightly, but if we are out of oil our lamps will flicker and eventually go out. Generally the oil mentioned in the Old Testament, as in this parable, is a type of the Holy Ghost. We keep our lamps full by being continually being renewed in the Holy Ghost (Titus 3:5).

This doesn’t happen by being a Sunday morning Christian, or just going though the motions. Our walk with Him is not about a religious activity, it’s about a day-to-day relationship. If you are married, what kind of a relationship would you have with your spouse if you only talked to them once or twice a week?

We are foolish if we do not find a place in prayer DAILY. A time and place where you can be alone with just you and God. A time of worship, of supplication. A time of praying in the Spirit and with understanding also. If this is not a regular part of your life, make it so today!

This is not just a five minute prayer. If possible do not limit it. It may be different for some, but generally the best time is early in the morning when you are rested.  Get up a little earlier and find a quite place. A place where you do not need to be self conscious about disturbing others. your bedroom, a bathroom, the kitchen, the basement, the attic, the back yard, the woods, your car, the shed, the garage, the barn, the middle of the pond, but find a place and meet the Lord there daily.

Jesus said that “the spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matther 26:41). Most of us know that we need more time with God, in prayer, in worship, in His Word.  But the flesh is weak and gets caught up with the cares of this world. We need to bring our flesh into subjection (1 Corinthians 9:27).

You cannot help anyone else to show the way if you cannot see it for yourself.  You’ve heard the phrase the “blind leading the blind”. First be full of the Spirit so that you can see clearly and have direction, and then you can better see to guide someone else.

This is of the utmost importance for a leader, whether it be of a family or the Church.  It is not just your soul at stake, but those that you love and are responsible for. How can you lead anyone to a close relationship with God if you do not have it for yourself? How can you lead if you yourself cannot see? How important is it to you for your family to be saved?

Let us not be foolish unto an everlasting death. The Word of God is clear, we are to continue to walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4).  If we are to be full of the Holy Ghost, then we can also be depleted. If our lamps can be full, then they can also be empty. It is not “once saved, always saved”. The infilling of the Holy Ghost was never meant to be just a one-time experience. There needs to be a continual refreshing and renewing.

Don’t be one of the foolish virgins caught with no oil when the bridegroom comes. Keep your lamp full and burning brightly and therefore light your way. We will be raised up on that last day only if the Holy Spirit dwells in us, For it is the Spirit that dwells in us that will quicken our mortal bodies and raise us. (Romans 8:11).

If we are not Spirit filled (lamps full of oil) we are like the five foolish virgins. God will not know us when it comes time to enter in (Matthew 25:11,12).

Is you lamp full should the bridegroom come today?

Do you have questions?  Feel free to write to me via my contact form.