Can we really “pray without ceasing”?


I had the privilege of being interviewed by Marnie Swedberg on her radio show just recently. Spending an hour talking about Drama Free with this delightful woman made me want to hear more from her.

So I asked her to guest blog for me and talk about something we all know we should do, but sometimes wonder how.

Glean from Marnie as she talks about how you and I can pray continually (and leave a comment below and you could win a copy of one of my books.)

Here’s Marnie…

The Bible says, “Pray without ceasing.” If you’re like me, that seemed an impossible command.

I want to share with you the dolphin analogy that God used to help me adopt the habit of praying without ceasing. I hope it will be as helpful to you as it has been to me in unraveling this puzzle.

Simply stated, God created dolphins to be water dwellers, but air breathers. He created us to be earth dwellers, but prayer breathers.

Ephesians 2:6 uses the present tense when it describes our ability to be spiritually in the presence of God even while being stuck here on earth. “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.”

Dolphins can breathe air while living in the water. They can survive about five minutes before surfacing, but not much more. We can survive just about as long without going up to God for prayer.

Praying without ceasing is the answer to every quandary, emotional stress, and incoming pain. Instead of letting things build inside our heads and hearts, we were built to take frequent trips to the “top” via prayer as soon as we feel stress. We must not wait until our spiritual air supply runs low. or we begin gasping (ie – freaking out), and we all know what that feels like.

Having constant, unceasing communication with Jesus is the answer to living a life of peace vs. anxiety. When we don’t, we experience shortness of faith, which results in stress, worry, anxiety, fear, hopelessness, and so on.

As we regain our perspective through prayer, our spiritual breathing returns to normal and we again function properly, as we were designed by God.

Prayer is awesome! It is good for times we need to request things of God, but it is supposed to be our lifeline, our number one response to any pain, and our spiritual air.

Paul said, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).  Since he was a tentmaker, he must not have meant for us to sit in our prayer chairs all day and pray with folded hands. Instead, we are given the amazing privilege and opportunity of going to God, through prayer, every time we feel our shoelaces of peace coming untied. What an amazing gift!

What helps you pray continually? Let us know in the comment section below (and tell us what part of the country you live in) and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Cindi’s popular book, Women on the Edge.

Marnie SwedbergMarnie Swedberg is the online mentor to over 15,000 leaders from 35 countries worldwide. She is a keynote speaker, the author of 13 books, a syndicated radio talk show host, and webhostess of numerous websites, including the largest online directory of Christian women speakers in the world. Learn more, and tap into her Online Mentorship Program at www.Marnie.com

Cindi
About me

Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning author and national speaker who helps women find strength for the soul. She has nearly 30 years experience ministering to women and inspiring them to let God meet their emotional needs, grow stronger through their alone times, and pursue their dreams with boldness.

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49 Comments

Doreen Kent
Reply July 25, 2017

Hi Cindi & Marnie!
That was a beautiful analogy of the dolphins needing oxigen and us needing prayer before we let things build up to stress, I can sure relate to this and it is something I needed to hear at this present time! I've been dealing with family issues and health issues most of this year and I have have had a rough time trying to not focus my thoughts on my problems! But if I can know that I can( I must) give it to God every time I think about them, it all seems like I can get through it better! Thanks for sharing this! Sincerely in Christ Doreen Austin Texas

    Cindi
    Reply July 25, 2017

    Thank you, Doreen, for your encouraging words and sharing how you go to God continually. Stay cool out there in hot and humid Texas. (We're having one of those hot/humid weeks here in So. California!)

lara polk
Reply July 25, 2017

Hi, my name is Lara and I am here in Alabama and I can tell you YES you can pray without ceasing - it is the only way I have made it - I am taking care of my 10 year old son who has JIA and EOE, plus we homeschool, dealing with my adult children and their children, then in a town 40 miles always dealing with my aging parents and down syndrome sister and then 60 miles away doing my best to take care of my 81 yr old Aunt. I pray and talk to God alot while I am driving down I-20. I need any book to just help me grow everyday.

    Cindi
    Reply July 25, 2017

    Hi Lara: Always great to hear from you. Glad to hear you are still plugging away out there and trusting God. Thanks for your comment.

Cindy Williams
Reply July 25, 2017

I loved your message! We can pray anytime we want! I pray while I work, walk, clean, and many other things. Thank God for Jesus, so we can go to the throne of grace!

    Cindi
    Reply July 25, 2017

    Thank you, Cindy. Where in the country are you located?

Karen
Reply July 25, 2017

What helps me to pray without ceasing is to picture Jesus with me all throughout the day as my Companion. I am a single lady and it is comforting to know that Jesus is always with me.

Karen
Reply July 25, 2017

Oh, I forgot to say where I am from. I am from Ohio

    Cindi
    Reply July 25, 2017

    Thank you, Karen, for taking the time to comment. Blessings. :)

Rosemary Caropolo
Reply July 25, 2017

Hi Cindi,
This is Rosemary from New York, and I pray without ceasing daily. I live alone and recently lost my job. God is my best friend and I talk/pray to him constantly. The Power of Prayer is amazing. I am Blessed with such wonderful friends, and we help one another through difficult times by standing on God's word and promises. The Bible says when three or more are gathered in his name we are in one accord. As Sisters in Christ we need to pray together as well as on an individual basis. Praying has helped calm all my fears and anxieties.
Thank you so much for your newsletters. I look forward to reading them every month.
Have a Blessed Day!

    Cindi
    Reply July 25, 2017

    Hi Rosemary, Great to hear from you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You have a blessed day, too. :)

Julie
Reply July 25, 2017

Thank you. Conversation with God is prayer. All day I can be conversing with Him.
It helps me to remember to start and end any activity with prayer. Plus when I am just doing projects I am connected. I have more deep intense times and meditative times. But I also just say quick little prayers...like Jesus help me...or Jesus I trust in you...or Jesus be with me now...or Jesus forgive me....etc.
Continuous prayer is really just consciously being aware of having our best friend by us all the time. Distractions occur in our material world but we must tune in to the spiritual world and get used to not seeing everything visably.

    Cindi
    Reply July 25, 2017

    Thank you, Julie, for your wise words. What part of the country are you writing from? Are you in the U.S. as well?

Lena Gordon
Reply July 25, 2017

Thank you. I most definitely need to be stress free. I'm in a toxic relationship that I'm praying to God that I get out of. I'm a very humble person and I believe in God with all my heart just need help and prayer for myself. I want to know God more and more each day but I keep failing him by going backwards and it makes me upset and I cry. I pray all the time but don't know if I'm praying right. Please help me to get better with God and myself. my name is Lena Gordon and I'm from New Jersey.

    Cindi
    Reply July 25, 2017

    Thank you, Lena, for your honesty. Jeremiah 29:13 says "You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart." The Bible also tells us "Ask and you will receive...." I will contact you at your email address to make sure you get some resources to help you grow in your faith.

Sandra Lund
Reply July 25, 2017

This reminds me so much of the song, "Breathe" ...... This is the air I breathe, God's Holy presence living in me. I'm desperate for you, I'm lost without you...are just a few of the words. I'm sure you've heard this song before. I'm not sure of the author, it might be Michael W. Smith. Thank you for this wonderful devotion! It's been so hot here in the High Desert of California too!!

    Cindi
    Reply July 25, 2017

    Hi Sandra -- Yes I know that song and I, too, love Michael W. Smith's rendition of it. Thanks for commenting.

Shannon Harris
Reply July 25, 2017

Thank you for sharing this message today! I find myself "talking" with God all day long! It has taken me a few years of practice to figure out how to talk to God throughout my day. At first it was uncomfortable, even a little "weird" but the more I did it the more comfortable it became. Now it's weird when I don't talk to Him! There have been moments in my life where I would begin to fret over something and I'd let fear and anxiety into my thoughts. It has been in this email moments that God has literally stopped me in my tracks and called me out for not bringing my worries to Him! Most recently I was worrying over our finances and I was really feeling anxious. I was talking in my head trying to figure out what to do when all of a sudden I heard God loud and clear say to me "my dear child why do you fret? Do you not trust that I can carry you through this?" It was in that moment that I prayed and asked God for forgiveness and I gave Him authority over our finances and He did sustain us! When you learn to talk with God everyday it becomes easier to hear His voice as well! When he does speak to me it is the most amazing unexplainable feeling!
Thank you for allowing me to share this! I am in the U.S.

    Cindi
    Reply July 25, 2017

    Thank you, Shannon, for sharing that encouraging story.

Denise Netwig
Reply July 25, 2017

Thank you, Cindy, for reminding me to pray daily and unceasingly. I find myself "skipping" prayers when all is going well. I do praise and thank Him when I realize I couldn't have done a certain something without His help. But, my prayers before reaching the "freak out" point are lacking.
Do you have any suggestions?
P.S. I attended Valley Bible when Hugh was senior pastor just in case you're like me and remember faces not necessarily names😊
I still live in San Marcos, Ca.

    Cindi
    Reply July 25, 2017

    Of course I remember you, Denise (and your daughters, Gigi and Olivia, too!). Thanks for your comment. I would suggest my book, Drama Free, to give you practical ways to keep cool and prevent the "freak outs." ;) Of course, Women on the Edge, will help with that, too.

      Denise Netwig
      Reply July 25, 2017

      Thanks, Cindy. I'll order those! And wow, you remember my girls' names too... that makes me feel loved. 😍 God Bless.

Joyce Smith from Virginia
Reply July 25, 2017

Praying without ceasing is one of my favorite scriptural subjects since I learned years ago, how to do it....or at least how it works for me. Since I'm a Musician, I frequently relate through songs. From the Musical, "My Fair Lady" there's a sweet song entitled, "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face." In it there's a phrase of lyrics that says, "...like breathing out and breathing in."
That phrase defines constant prayer. It's like breathing OUT (my selfish thoughts, words, ideas, etc.) and breathing IN (the refreshment of the Holy Spirit for cleansing, strength, wisdom, etc.) For whatever we need throughout our days, prayer is as natural as "breathing out and breathing in." Being AWARE of God's Presence is paramount to our relationship with Him!

    Cindi
    Reply July 25, 2017

    Good thoughts. That visual of breathing out, breathing in (for prayer as well as a constant renewing of the Holy Spirit's control of our lives) has stayed with me for years. Thanks, Mom. (And now my readers will know where I got my "writing gene." ;)

Gail Hollingswoth
Reply July 25, 2017

Hi Cindi! I live in Tuscaloosa Alabama and got to meet you when you spoke at Valley View.
I try to wake up in the morning saying Dear Jesus....and when I go to bed at night...thank you for this day, in Jesus name amen.
That keeps an open dialog all day with Him. He created us for fellowship with Him and just like I enjoy hearing from my kids each day, He enjoys hearing from us, His kids!

    Cindi
    Reply July 25, 2017

    Hi Gail, Always good to hear from my Tuscaloosa friends (Rolltide!). Thanks for your comment. :)

Karen
Reply July 25, 2017

I try to go to God first before another person. Usually that is all I need and that happens when I am praying all day long

    Cindi
    Reply July 25, 2017

    Great tip, Karen. I reiterate the importance of that in my book, Drama Free -- actually in nearly ALL of my books. :)

Lucy perez
Reply July 25, 2017

Hi Cindi I'm very thankful to God for all he has given me and my family! I look forward to reading your articles. Thank you from Texas, Lucy

    Cindi
    Reply July 25, 2017

    Hi Lucy: Thank you for taking the time to share those kind words. I love you gals out there in Texas, too. :)

Marnie
Reply July 25, 2017

Hi! Thanks for all the awesome input! It is such a beautiful thing to have constant communion with God all day, every day! It's truly one of my all-time favorite discoveries in life! Thanks, Cindi, for your life of faith, and the opportunity to share here! Marnie

Mamaof8
Reply July 25, 2017

I came to the realization a few years ago that nothing was really in my control except my response, my attitude and my actions. I was helpless and desperately out of "My depth". I fell on my knees in prayer. It was situation after situation that would come up and I found praying was all that was in my power to do. I finally understood that's exactly the kind of relationship God was wanting with me. New situations haven't stopped coming but I've now been in a several year's long conversation with God. Neither of us hung up the phone. Neither of us said "Goodbye" or "I'll talk to you later." ...or even Amen (at least not to the prayers going on in my head).

    Cindi
    Reply July 26, 2017

    Thanks, Lisa, for that reminder that God never hangs up on us or says "talk to you LATER." :)

Doris
Reply July 26, 2017

I enjoyed reading all the comments. I agree, I think it is an ongoing "fellowship" with the Lord, sometimes talking to him & sometimes listening. I live in middle Georgia--United States.

    Cindi
    Reply July 27, 2017

    Thanks, Doris, for your comment, and for mentioning the part about listening to Him, too. :)

Barbara McKinney
Reply July 26, 2017

Thank you for the blog you did on Praying without Ceasing. It really put my mind at ease about the way you described it. I have been doing this for a long time. In your blog you explained it with such ease. Thanks.

    Cindi
    Reply July 31, 2017

    Thanks, Barbara for taking the time to comment on this guest blog. Blessings....

Akua
Reply July 27, 2017

Hello Cindi & Marnie,
I live in Accra, Ghana. Just discovered this website yesterday, and LOVE it because you really are speaking to me. Thank you for sharing this blog. It is a big desire of mine to pray, but I've always struggled with staying focused on what I'm saying to God. Inadvertently my thoughts keep jumping in every direction while I pray, derailing and frustrating my prayer. A friend recently advised me not to give up or think of these instances as distractions, but rather to "go with the flow" by praying about whatever issue "crosses" my thoughts and original prayer. These thoughts are usually things I am worried about, so praying about them as and when they come to mind throughout the day helps me to be free of anxiety. In this way I find it easier to pray without ceasing.
God bless you all for the encouragement you are giving us.

    Cindi
    Reply July 27, 2017

    Thank you, Akua, for sharing how your mind wanders during prayer. I agree with your friend's advice. Sometimes that wondering mind is what we take to God as those things that pop into our minds are often the things we need to pray about. Also, consider that sometimes what you think are "distractions" may be what God is bringing to your mind to pray about or take action on.

Barbara Baker
Reply July 29, 2017

One day in the daily bread an author said when you take a breath in you say a prayer, and
as you breathe out you thank the Lord for what he is going to do.And I have been trying to do this but yesturday I forgot and what a day I had so Thank You for posting this.

    Cindi
    Reply July 30, 2017

    You're welcome, Barbara. I remember reading about that process, too, in the One-to-One Discipleship manual. A good reminder to pray as often as we breathe. :)

Cindi
Reply July 31, 2017

My gratitude to each of you who commented on this week's blog. It was so difficult to choose just ONE of you to win a free copy of Women on the Edge so I'll be mailing out a book to FIVE winners. If you didn't win this time, keep reading and commenting in the coming weeks. I'll be giving away more free books and those of you who participated this time will be entered into a drawing for the next giveaway, so your chances will double to win a free book. Again, I appreciate every one of you.

Jackie
Reply July 31, 2017

First time seeing your blog. Very encouraging for me. thank you.

    Cindi
    Reply August 1, 2017

    Thank you, Jackie, for reading and taking the time to comment. :)

Pamela Mashaba
Reply August 1, 2017

Hi Cindi,

Pamela here all the way from South Africa, this article was so relevant today as work piles up with its drama and people around me seem to be offending me today, 1Thes5:17 was a good reminder that I need to take a step back and breathe like a dolphin (through prayer or rather short conversation with Abba Father God)..

    Cindi
    Reply August 1, 2017

    Thank you, Pamela. May God's peace surround your heart and mind today.

Doris
Reply August 1, 2017

This post was interesting, I'd never considered it that way Thanks for sharing !

    Cindi
    Reply August 1, 2017

    You're welcome, Doris. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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