Caryn’s 23 things – and then some

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Pray Without Ceasing

In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Paul enjoins us to “Pray without ceasing.”  This bothered me when I first heard it, when I was a kid, because I wondered how people would ever get anything done if they were praying all the time.  I got a clue toward understanding it from a joke I heard some years later:

A seminary student asks one of his professors if it’s ok to smoke while praying.  The professor is shocked, and says that one’s communion with God shouldn’t be sullied with such a worldly activity.

Wanting a second opinion, the student asks another professor if it’s ok to pray while smoking.  The professor is struck by the student’s devotion, and says that certainly, prayer can be combined with any activity.

It all depends on how you look at it, I guess.

I worked once in a job that was both mentally and emotionally demanding, and came to see my restroom breaks as a welcome respite from the work.  Once I was on the toilet and was rather shocked to find myself praying.  What would God think!  Then I remembered, “Pray without ceasing.”  Paul didn’t say “Pray without ceasing, except for bathroom breaks,” and God made us need bathroom breaks, so it must be ok to pray then.  Since then, I’ve found that, indeed, prayer can be combined with any activity, and that being in constant (or at least, near-constant) contact with God can give me a measure of calm.  Funny how that works.

June 9, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment