by Tony Nester

Constant Prayer (“Pray without ceasing.”)
Tony Nester
1 Thessalonians 5:17

What does it mean to pray unceasingly?

There are specially gifted and called people who have been given a vocation of prayer. God has called them to be prayer warriors, intercessors, non-stop pray-ers.

In his book, ON THE ROAD WITH CHARLES KURALT, Charles Kuralt he tells about a time he and his crew visited the chapel of Maria Angelorum in La Crosse, Wisconsin. There the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration have been praying without interruption -- for a hundred years!

Every hour of every day and night for a century, two sisters from this convent have been on their knees, side by side, always praying for the same things -- for an end to sickness and hunger, for an end to social injustice, for wisdom in high places, for their city and their country, for their friends, for their enemies, for all people, including you and me -- always ending, "Bring peace to the world."

Sister Mileta first took her place in this chain of prayer in 1915. Kuralt asked her, "So you're just going to go on praying for another hundred years?" Sister Mileta answered, "Hopefully, yes. Hopefully, we can go on for another hundred years, and perhaps another hundred years, till the end of time." 1

I admire the prayer commitment and spiritual discipline of these Roman Catholic Sisters, but I don’t believe 1 Thessalonians 5:17 means that every Christian is to leave the secular world and enter monasteries and convents. I know the Sisters would agree with me.

It’s the right thing for those who are called into it, but most of us aren’t going to receive that kind of call from God. God wants most of us in the world where we can be the salt and light that makes a redemptive difference in our circles of influence.

What then does it mean to pray without ceasing?

The answer can begin to come to us once we recognize that prayer is not measured out in words.

Using more words doesn’t mean that ...

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