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Prompted to Pray

Today's Devotional

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18

A coworker once told me that her prayer life had improved because of our manager. I was impressed, thinking that our difficult leader had shared some spiritual nuggets with her and influenced how she prays. I was wrong—sort of. My coworker and friend went on to explain: “Every time I see him coming, I start praying.” Her time of prayer had improved because she prayed more before each conversation with him. She knew she needed God’s help in her challenging work relationship with her manager, and she called out to Him more because of it.

My coworker’s practice of praying during tough times and interactions is something I’ve adopted. It’s also a biblical practice found in 1 Thessalonians when Paul reminds the believers in Jesus to “pray continually . . . give thanks in all circumstances” (5:17–18). No matter what we face, prayer is always the best practice. It keeps us connected with God and invites His Spirit to direct us (Galatians 5:16) rather than having us rely on our human inclinations. This helps us “live in peace with each other” (1 Thessalonians 5:13) even when we face conflicts.

As God helps us, we can rejoice in Him, pray about everything, and give thanks often. And those things will help us live in even greater harmony with our brothers and sisters in Jesus.

What relationships do you need to pray about more frequently? How can prayer help you follow God’s leading versus your human tendencies?

Heavenly Father, please help me remember to pray continually as I seek to live in harmony with others.

Learn how to deepen your prayer life.


Believers in Jesus can learn from Paul’s exhortations, example, and experiences in what could be called the “Pauline School of Prayer.” In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, the exhortation is to “pray continually.” Paul, however, didn’t simply encourage prayer; he himself prayed for his fellow believers in Christ: “We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers” (1:2). We see a similar pattern in Colossians, where in the context of his prayers for them, Paul spoke of giving thanks for believers in Jesus (1:3). Then, as if to encourage them to follow his pattern, he exhorted them to “continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving” (4:2 esv). In the book of Acts, Paul and Silas prayed in the prison at Philippi (16:25-34), and Paul’s experience on the storm-tossed sea likely prompted prayer (27:13-38).

By |2024-02-19T01:33:09-05:00February 19th, 2024|
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