Updated: Jul 20, 2021
By Sis. Shaye Spell
Recently I was asked, what is Pastor’s “secret” to sticking to his convictions, following the Word, and continuing even through this persecution? After only a second’s hesitation, I knew this was it: He prays all the time. And I don’t mean that he walks over to the church and sets a timer to pray for an hour or two per day. I don’t think he’s ever done that regularly. That works for many, but that is not his method.
He prays constantly.
From the time we were married, 1 Thessalonians 5:17 is something I have observed my husband to consistently obey: “Pray without ceasing.”
Many people do not take this literally or they interpret it to mean once or twice a year as a corporate body, and they have a “prayer-chain” event. However, from the time we were married, the Scripture, “Pray without ceasing” is something my husband does habitually in his daily walk with God.
Pastor prays while driving to the store. He prays while checking out at Winn-Dixie. He prays while changing a tire. He prays while knocking doors. He prays while responding to a text. He prays while in the shower. Sometimes under his breath, out loud, in a whisper, in a song, in a sermon, in a poem. He prays when we have no money; he prays when we are abundantly blessed. He prays when our children and grandchildren are sick; he prays when they are well. It doesn’t matter where he is or who is around him, he prays without ceasing.
One thing this entire pandemic has NEGATIVELY affected is his habit of constant prayer. I don’t see or hear him as much as I used to because of so many countless distractions. His phone rings or alerts every single minute of every single day. There are thousands of new people to help, and many to lead, as church after church closes their doors. Now our Pastor needs OUR HELP.
The Bible tells us in Acts 10:4, “And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.” Those minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years of constant prayer and reciting the Word of God are what have kept him strong in this time of peril! God never forgets. God never fails to answer.
Lord, please help us all to rid ourselves of the distractions! Help us to live daily with a mindset of continual PRAYER! When the church is strong, it strengthens the Pastor and his family. When the church commits to a constant prayer life, he has an easier job of pastoring. An additional blessing and result is that our own burdens, our hurts, and our disappointments tend to fall from our shoulders as we walk in daily constant prayer. The enormous trials that seem overwhelming or even the small petty things that cause us fear and anxiety cannot live within us if we stay in CONSTANT PRAYER. Also, we know that fasting must be coupled with prayer, but it is much easier to fast when you “Pray without ceasing.” God has promised to make an escape for every temptation that you may be able to bear it (1 Corinthians 10:13).
I urge you to try and make this your 2021 daily habit!
Not only will living a daily life of “prayer without ceasing” help us personally, but we have a Biblical record of a miracle happening while Peter was in jail! His church PRAYED WITHOUT CEASING! Acts 12:5, “Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.”
Could it be that God is waiting on us, the Church, to stop hurting and persecuting each other, especially our Apostolic brethren or loved ones, and instead bind together in the unity of PRAYER?
How would it affect our case for “Freedom of Assembly” and regaining our First Amendment right, if we all decided that today was the day we united in constant prayer?
Sis. Shaye Spell
February 5, 2021