Athlete, Seek God in Prayer Often
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (ESV)
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Prayer is the pathway for us to communicate with God. In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, God tells us it is His will that we “pray without ceasing.”
We can and should communicate with God continually throughout the day, not just at a set time. Rather than see this as an obligation or duty, why not see it as an invitation to seek God in prayer continually?
Jesus taught the disciples how to pray. He taught them “The Lord’s Prayer” (Matthew 6:5-13, Luke 11:1-4), and taught that if we truly believe, we will receive what we ask God for, then we will indeed receive it (Matthew 7:7-11, Mark 11:24).
Jesus often made time and space to be alone with God in prayer. He did so after performing miracles (Matthew 14:23, Luke 5:16), early in the morning while it was still dark (Mark 1:35), and at important moments such as the night of His crucifixion (Matthew 26:36-46), and all night before choosing His 12 disciples (Luke 6:12).
We learn from Jesus’s life that silence and solitude with God is important. If Jesus, who was fully God and fully man, needed to get away from the busyness of life and pray, how much more do we?
A helpful, practical tool for how to pray is the PRAY acronym:
- Praise: Worship God for who He is. Thank Him for what He’s done in your life and around you.
- Repent: Confess your sins to God. Repent, turn away from sin and express your desire to live for God.
- Ask: Ask God for things you want or need according to His will, for yourself and others. Bring your burdens and concerns to God — prayer is a place to praise and thank God and celebrate joys, but also to grieve, lament and acknowledge pain (Psalm 42 is a great example of this).
- Yield: Surrender, commit your day and life to God, that His desires would be done in your life.
Reflect: Use the P.R.A.Y. model to pray to God this week. Start small at first, spending 5-10 minutes in prayer. Practice “praying without ceasing” by praying throughout the day … maybe while you get ready for the day; when you commute to class, a workout, or practice, or before going to bed.
A prayer to consider: Father God, thank You for the gift it is to be able to communicate with You in prayer. Help me to make time and space to be alone with You in prayer as Jesus did, bringing my praises, joys, requests and burdens alike to you.
Help me see prayer as a way to be intimate with You rather than something to check off the list. Help me pray to You continually throughout the day. In Jesus’s name and for Your glory I pray. Amen.