Daily Bible Reading

Continually

There are few things in life anyone does continually. We all breathe. That’s a given. Most will work continually until retirement. Some talk continually. Some sleep continually. But all of these things can, and most often do, required breaks of some sort or another. There is one thing, though, that the Bible tells us to do continually.

Pray.

Never stop praying.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NLT)

Many in the western church probably couldn’t tell you the last time they started praying let alone the last time they prayed without stopping.

One of the greatest needs of the present day is men and women who will not only start out to pray for things but pray on and on and on until they obtain that which they seek from the Lord.

R.A. Torrey (1956-1928)

We all want to see God move in church on Sunday, but who is really willing to pray on Monday? For most of us, the Great Awakenings of the last century are so far gone (and often forgotten), that we don’t realise how effective prayer can really be. I make a point (though not often enough) to go back and read of the great revivals that brought North America to its knees. You cannot learn about a great move of God without being stirred to see one yourself.

But who is willing to pray for a move of God? Who even knows what that kind of prayer looks like?

True prayer is an approach of the soul by the Spirit of God to the throne of God. It is not the utterance of words, it is not alone the feeling of desires, but it is the advance of the desires to God, the spiritual approach of our nature toward the Lord our God. True prayer is neither a mere mental exercise nor a vocal performance. It is far deeper than that—it is spiritual transaction with the Creator of heaven and earth.

Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)

Acts 1:14 says that they all met together continually for prayer. Do you think the Holy Spirit would have shown up with tongues of fire if the group hadn’t waited? If they hadn’t been praying while they waited?

It is time that the Church look again toward prayer. Not just programs and growth strategies. I believe those things will come as the result of effective prayer.

The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and wonderful results.

James 5:16b (NLT)

We all have a decision to make regarding prayer. We can go on with our daily lives and offer up a prayer every once in a while when we feel like it or need heavenly help out of a jam—but what’s the point of our faith at all if that’s the case? Or we can pray continually. Continual prayer will require sacrifice on our part, but the reward is great power and wonderful results.

Daily Bible reading: Ezra 9-10, Acts 1

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Continually

Have you ever mentioned a problem to an unbeliever and they look at you aghast as though you, a Christian, should be living a life free of trouble, pain, and/or difficulty? It is a sadly common misconception that Christians can and should live completely perfect lives.

Be to me a rock of refuge,
to which I may continually come.

Psalm 71:3 (ESV)

Note that David doesn’t say that he stays at the rock of refuge, but that he continually comes to it. Again and again. He didn’t run to the rock once and then everything was good from there. If you’ve read through David’s history, you know that he was plagued with trouble, both of his own making and of those conspiring against him.

But I will hope continually
and will praise you yet more and more.

Psalm 71:14 (ESV)

If God only saved you once, how much would you praise Him? If He saves you again and again, how much more will you praise Him?

You who have made me see many troubles and calamities
will revive me again;
from the depths of the earth
you will bring me up again.
You will increase my greatness
and comfort me again.

Psalm 71:20-21

Again and again and again. David saw more trials and tribulations than any one man should, yet God saw fit to bring Jesus out of David’s lineage. If believers were meant to live perfect lives, don’t you think God would have done something for David? Instead, David’s faith was continually increased and each time trials came, he turned to God. God gave him increase in every area of his life.

The issue is not whether or not we will experience difficulties, but rather what we do when they come. Do we wallow in self pity or stand up and proclaim that God is greater than our circumstance and He is always well-able to see us through?

Daily Bible reading: Psalm 70-72; Romans 4