A Guide on Prayer
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A Guide on Prayer

Prayer: How to Pray Without Ceasing

This week I want to look at Paul’s recommendation to the Thessalonians that they pray without ceasing. He says:

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (I Thessalonians 5:16–18).

Really Paul?

God wants me to pray without ceasing? All day? E’ery day?

In the 3rd chapter of Handbook of Positive Prayer, Hypatia Hasbrouck offers a prayer plan that just may help you fulfill Paul’s charge. The upshot of the plan is that you put yourself in a perpetual prayer vibration. So, you will not necessarily be in a physical prayer posture all day. But, you can be in a mental prayer posture no matter where you are and no matter who you are with.

Let’s look at what she suggests:

1) Start Your Day with Private Prayer and Meditation

Over a decade ago, Steve Pavlina wrote a blog post that began: “It’s been said that the first hour of the day is the rudder of the day.” He goes on to explain the power of that first hour. It sets the course for your day much like the rudder of a ship determines its course.

Many writers quote Steve as part of their effort to convince us to adopt a positive morning routine. It has been my experience that what you do in that first hour deeply impacts how your day plays out. In fact, I can almost predict the quality of my day according to how I start it.

Start Higher, End Higher

“One of the most replicated findings in the field of willpower research is that people who use willpower seem to run out of it…The research shows that willpower decreases over the course of the day, as your energy gets ‘spent’ on stress and self-control…Like your biceps or quadriceps, the willpower ‘muscle’ can get exhausted from effort” (Stanford Medicine).

Prayer attunes us to the One Mind, bringing us into alignment with Spirit. Making prayer our first activity means we begin the day in the highest spiritual and mental vibration possible.

2) Bless Every Meal

Assuming you eat three times a day, you give yourself three opportunities to raise your vibration when you bless every meal. Raising your vibration before you eat has practical application many do not consider. Blessing our food “tends to relax us so that we can enjoy and benefit from our food” (Hasbrouck).

The call to action in the 24th Psalm is Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in. Who is the King of glory? The LORD…(Psalm 24:7–8). Metaphysically, the gates and doors to be lifted are the fallen consciousnesses of men. The LORD is I AM.

As our willpower dissipates throughout our day, taking a pause to bless our meals opens the mind and heart for renewal. From a practical standpoint, we take an action that raises our vibration back to where we started in the morning.

3) Use “I AM” Wisely

Did you know that, according to the Bible, I AM is the only name of God that was directly revealed to anyone? When we use the phrase I AM, we place ourselves in kinship with Spirit. When we tie the phrase I AM to conditions, circumstances, habits, and concepts that we do not want, we weigh ourselves down.

Every word carries a vibration. There are no neutral. We are either being lifted up or pulled down by the words that come out of our mouths. None of us need stay in an emotional rut. The moment we sense a low feeling within, we can begin to speak words of power and praise and lift ourselves right out of that rut.

Mind Your Vocal Habits

Of course, this may be easier said than done. As Hasbrouck explains, “we use many expressions which, taken literally, have negative meanings. Many people habitually apologize with the words “I’m sorry,” or preface unwelcome information with the words “I’m afraid that.” If you would rather not chance feeling sorry or afraid,” you must break the habit of using expressions with negative connotations.

Instead of saying, “I’m sorry,” try, “I apologize.” When you want to express sympathy for someone dealing with death, instead of saying, “I’m sorry for your loss,” try, “I send you my deepest wishes for peace and comfort.” Instead of saying things like, “I’m afraid you have the wrong number,” try, “You have the wrong number.”

Every word carries a vibration and you do not escape its effects just because you mean well. Don’t just mean well, speak well.

4) Act As If

“Whether we realize it or not, all our words and acts are connected with the creative source (God) and are, therefore, creative” (Hasbrouck). Said differently, there are no words that do not create. As you move through your day, challenge yourself to speak only life-giving words about yourself, others and the world around you.

It’s not just about your words, it’s also about your behavior. “If…we wish to have positive relationships with all persons in our lives, we need to speak and act as if we already have such relationships — to speak positively to and about even the most apparently difficult individuals; to treat them with the consideration with which we want them to treat us; to praise them for the good they do; and, above all, to silently affirm that they are wise and kind” (Hasbrouck).

I know, I know…some people make it easy to talk about how frustrating they are! But what matters more to you? Discussing how challenging they are or keeping your vibration raised to the highest level possible? Allowing yourself to feel frustrated by their choices, or keeping yourself open to God for your own miracles of manifestation? You cannot have both. You must choose.

5) Dedicate Every Word and Act to the Glory of God

Sounds highfaluting? It’s not. “Since we live and move and have our being in God, whatever we are saying or doing, we are saying and doing in the presence of God, and every word or act is a kind of prayer” (Hasbrouck).

When I read that sentence in chapter 3, it stopped me cold. In truth, we are never alone. We are always in the Presence of God because we are the Presence of God in expression.

Isn’t that deep?

Breathe!

Really what we’re talking about is mindful living. The thing that makes this suggestion challenging is that we often move through our day mindlessly. We move from one activity to the next, almost on autopilot. To dedicate every word and act to the glory of God means to wake up to the present moment. Come out of the past and return from the future to the only time there is — now. Make every word and act sacred.

6) Intentionally Fill Each Moment

This suggestion speaks to a way to live mindfully. When I was a student in the Johnnie Colemon Institute in Chicago, one of my teacher, Rev. Herbert Lassiter taught me a very practical lesson that I still use today. One morning he came to class late because there was a challenge with the copy machine. He managed to get his copies made but they were not collated.

Using the experience as a teaching moment, he spread out the different pages of his handout around the table up front. Then he had us get out of our seats and walk around the table, collecting the pages we needed in the order that we needed them.

While we filed around the table, he gave us a verse from a song to sing: Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. Holy Spirit, Christ within me. Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. When we returned to our seats, he asked us about our experience collating the pages for our handout.

Each person gave a positive report. Most of us felt the experience went by rather quickly. He explained that we can do that when we find ourselves in frustrating or challenging situations. Instead of focusing on what has gone wrong, use the power of song to take your mind somewhere positive while you do what you have to do. It was a powerful lesson that I never forgot.

7) Mind Your Own Business

The easiest thing to see is the “speck in your brother’s or sister’s eye.” In fact, we often see best when we notice the faults of others. We can describe in great detail what someone else is doing wrong and how they are creating the mess they’re in. Our own challenges, however, remain an utter mystery. 🙂

“In Matthew Chapter 7, Jesus said quite clearly that our main business is to reform ourselves, not other persons” (Hasbrouck). One of my favorite memes from the Rio Olympics shows an image of both Michael Phelps and Richard Le Clos rising at about the same time in the water. Phelps’ eyes seem transfixed on the finish line while Le Clos appears to be looking at Phelps.

From the standpoint of praying without ceasing, you draw down your own spiritual vibration when you give your attention to things other people do. Instead, mind your own business.

8) Close Out the Day with Private Prayer

The way you end the day sets the tone for the quality of sleep you will enjoy that night. When you elect to spend a few moments in prayer before falling off to sleep, you raise your vibration one more time before going to sleep. Hasbrouck recommends that your end of day prayers “include thanksgiving for all the good the day has brought and for all the opportunities to learn and grow that we have experienced…A good way to conclude a day of prayer is to affirm that you and everyone for whom you pray are surrounded by God’s light and love and protected by God’s presence.”

Lift Yourself and Stay There

A prayerful state is a vibrational state. The time you invest in morning prayer lifts your vibration. And, the prayerful efforts you make during the day — blessing your meal, wisely use the phrase I AM, minding your own business, etc — keep your vibration lifted. So, when Paul urges the Thessalonians to “pray without ceasing,” he is, in effect, urging them to stay in a prayerful vibration.

My Call to Action

Wow! This post ended up being wayyyy longer than I anticipated. I hope it has been helpful for your prayer life. My guess is that if you made it this far, you probably already have a strong prayer life and maybe only need to add one or two things from the list. In the comments below, let me know which is the eight steps will be something you add to your daily routine.

Hi! I’m Rev. Sherri James. I teach people how to use spiritual principles to succeed in life.

I help people wake up to their innate divinity so they can live their highest and best life.

I’m the creator of the Metaphysical Bible Hangout, a FREE weekly bible study. In this class, you learn how to understand the revelation of your divinity in Scripture and put it into practice.

What I am most proud of are my students. The success stories of the people who’ve taken my classes or worked with me privately as a Spiritual Mentor and learned their spiritual identity and now live a better life gives me strength and fuels my drive to help more people live their best life.

Become my next success story. Let me mentor you to better living. Get the help you need to wake up to the spiritual giant that you are.

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Sherri James

Sherri James

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Mom. Entrepreneur. Financial Professional. Minister. Stay in the loop with Sherri and her latest course offerings by following her @SimplySherriJ