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::Devotional:: ‘How To Pray Without Ceasing – Part 3’

December 15, 2009

Some people pray on their knees.  Some people pray prostrate on the floor.  Some with eyes closed and hands folded, while others pray with eyes open and hands lifted up.  So what’s the right posture for prayer?  If you’re thinking this sounds a bit crazy, you’re on the right track.  A friend asked the other day, “how are we supposed to pray without ceasing – hands folded, eyes closed, and on our knees – and still make it through the things we have to do each day?”  Fair question?  Absolutely.  Some of us have been taught that unless we are in that posture, prayer doesn’t count.  However, prayer is not about the proper posture but the proper attitude and ceaseless prayer involves a great flexibility to pray than in just one posture.

Nehemiah was a man of prayer.  Praying from an open heart and praying about his burdens.  He had the mindset that above all and before all else he should pray.  Although he was not praying 24 hours a day, all the time anyway, his prayer life can easily be described as ceaseless.  In other words, there is hardly a time described in the scriptures where Nehemiah ceased to pray about something.

Praying In The Midst of A Moment

During our daily routines, situations are going to present themselves which require and immediate action on our part and getting away somewhere quiet to get on our knees and pray may not always be possible.  In those times, it is important to remember that we can also pray in the midst of a moment.

Nehemiah had spent 4 months praying, mourning, and fasting over the situation with his people and in his homeland of Jerusalem.  Eventually that kind of burden took its toll on him to the point where it was physically visible and King Artaxerxes noticed.

Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.  Nehemiah 2:2

Nehemiah was the kings cupbearer.  His job was to keep the wine cups full.  I think it makes a lot of sense that the king took notice of how Nehemiah looked.  Afterall, would  you want to drink from a cup handed to you by a man who looked physically sick?  Nehemiah was fearful of answering the king because he thought his allegiance would be questioned because he was so upset over a nation other than Persia.

I was very much afraid, but I said to the king, ‘May the king live forever!  Why should my face not look sad when the city where my fathers are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?’  The king said to me, ‘What is it you want?’  Nehemiah 2:2-4

An open door, a moment of opportunity, had been presented to Nehemiah to do something about what he had been so upset over. An opportunity to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.  In the midst of that moment, with the question “What is it you want”, open before him – Nehemiah prayed.

Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king…  Nehemiah 2:4

Above all and before all, Nehemiah was a man of ceaseless prayer.

The next 24 hours holds 1,440 moments for each of us.  Some will be easy and some will be difficult.  Nevertheless, we would to do well to remember to pray in the midst of them as they come.  Think before you speak and pray before you think seems to be a good tagline here.

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

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