In one of the shortest verses in the Bible, Paul gives us what seems to be an almost impossible command.
Paul tells us to pray without ceasing.
How can we possibly go through our busy day in medicine in constant prayer to the Lord? Is Paul telling us that we need to learn how to hold two conversations at once…one with the Lord and the other with the person in front of us?
What exactly did he mean by praying without ceasing?
Many today are still seeking the answers to these questions.
Sometime in the 1640’s, Nicolas Herman, an uneducated footman who had been injured in the Thirty Years War, entered a Carmelite monastery in Paris, taking a position in the kitchen. The monastery had regular fixed times for prayer, but confining prayer to certain times didn’t make sense to this Carmelite monk who renamed himself as Brother Lawrence. He knew that God was present with him at all times, and therefore he sought to spend time in prayer while working in the kitchen.
After some time, Brother Lawrence developed the ability to continually sense the presence of God in prayer, no matter what else he was doing. He soon became known for possessing extraordinary peace, causing many to come seeking spiritual guidance from him.
His experience is recorded as series of letters in a small book entitled The Practice of the Presence of God. This book is available free on the Internet.
The concept Brother Lawrence developed was a simple habit…the habit of continually being aware and interacting with the presence of God.
He discovered what Paul meant by continual prayer.
It is a habit that is simple in concept…yet difficult to practice.
The goal is to reach a point in which we as followers of Jesus become increasingly aware of the presence of God with us, no matter what we are doing. As we become aware of His presence, we spend more time interacting with Him…praying to Him.
I’ll be elaborating more on this through the week…
Prayer: Lord, help me understand what You mean by continual prayer.