Learning to pray without ceasing


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

I especially aim to cling to the part of this verse that says, "pray without ceasing." I have a deep desire to be a prayer warrior, a woman ready and willing to go to the Lord in prayer at any time, and I eagerly expect for the Spirit to help me in my weakness. When I "do not know what to pray for as [I] ought," I desperately hope the Spirit would lead me and even intercede for me "with groanings too deep for words" (Romans 8:26). However, even in the midst of these desires, I have lacked self-discipline in the past, and so improving in prayer was one of my first goals upon arrival to the Living Vine. Thankfully, God has already rocked me. He has invited me to pray expectantly. He has whispered these verses into my heart and brought them to life:

"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:15-16

What a glorious thing it is that He knows our hearts and asks us to come to Him with holy confidence anyway! No request is too small or too great for Him, and He has proved that in just the past two weeks. I used to think that asking for these things in prayer were too arrogant or haughty, but God continues to remind me of his mercy and grace that flow so frequently. It is not because of me that I even can approach His throne with confidence, but rather it is always, only because of the salvation of Jesus Christ.

As I worked at Blessingdale's, a gift and thrift store from which all its proceeds go the The Living Vine, I sorted through some donated jewelry at the register while greeting the many customers coming through the front door. Some was broken, some was fashionable. There were endless amounts of earrings and bracelets, but I came across a necklace with braille on the front of it. Intrigued, I flipped it over to find "faith" written on the back. I quickly felt a burden on my heart, and I, almost without even realizing, asked God to bring in a blind person to the store that day so I could give her the necklace. I sorted through the rest of the jewelry and went about completing various tasks.

Then, a couple of hours later, a man and woman walked into the store. The woman carried a walking stick and the man followed closely behind her, describing detail after detail of the merchandise in the store. God answered my prayer! It was a simple, random prayer, nonetheless, but what beauty He revealed to me through it. I told my supervisor about it, then approached them a few minutes later with the necklace in hand. We had a short conversation, and they were also joyful at the answered prayer and gift. Like I said, this was a small prayer and maybe not a life-changing event for that couple, but it certainly is a day I will not soon forget. He recalled to memory that " one who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much," (Luke 16:10) and once again, as always, he restored "to me the joy of [his] salvation." (Psalm 51:12)

I have already seen Him answer prayers for the girls here at The Living Vine and prayers for my growth, and the amazement, which comes from that is new every time. He invites us to pray continually, and in doing so, our eyes are opened to the joy and the pain of the world around us. I once was blind, but now I see, all because of the Spirit leading me, and I can't wait to see how I might be led throughout the rest of this summer.

Brianna Childs is a summer missionary with Go Now. She is currently serving in Savannah, Georgia at The Living Vine Christian Maternity Home. To read more from Brianna during her summer trip, please visit her personal blog.

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