Thank you for visiting. We trust that you have enjoyed reading our articles.
Amen is the Beginning of Discipleship
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12 NIV).
One of the more challenging scriptures for me has been from 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” The first time I read this I wondered how can I get anything done if I am constantly praying? As I grew and matured spiritually, I began to believe that it is indeed possible to pray nonstop. It’s possible because we can cultivate a spirit that is habitually devotional, keeping our hearts attuned to God. The Greek word for “without ceasing” in 1 Thessalonian 5:17 is “adialeiptos,” which doesn’t mean nonstop — but actually means constantly recurring. In other words, we can punctuate our moments with intervals of recurring prayer.
Part of learning to pray continually, or constantly recurring, is to stay open in prayer. Sometimes after we say amen, we check off prayer on our to-do list and shut down the
conversation. But God has invited us — called us — to pray without ceasing, to keep the conversation going all day, every day. Constant prayer becomes a lifestyle. The more you understand that God is love, the more you will be drawn to him in prayer.
Jesus did not pray constantly but he did live a prayerful life. He modelled for us how prayer can and should be used to connect us to the Father. Prayer is always the first step to anything. So, it follows that prayer is also the first step to discipleship.
One of the greatest evangelists of all time was the Apostle Paul. He was committed to preaching the good news and making disciples. He also understood that there is an essential link between prayer and discipleship. Paul told the Ephesians to pray for one another and asked them to pray for him. “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel” (Ephesians 6:18-19). Paul recognized the power of prayer and called upon that power to fulfill the Great Commission.
Prayer: Dear Good and gracious God, Thank you for the blessing of prayer. Help us, dear God, to live a life of constant prayer. A life that is lived in you, for you, and to glorify you. May all that we do help fulfill the Great Commission and may all of our activities begin with seeking your Face through prayer. Amen.
Meet the Author
Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
We welcome your comments below.
Liked this post?
Read more below or search for more topics...
Finding Clarity in a World of Confusion “Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters—a pathway no one knew was there!” (Psalm 77:19 NLT).I think many of dislike to be in “limbo.” We want to know where we stand. We seek clarity. Perhaps at no time is this greater than in times of adversity. It is in these times, that we face the proverbial fork in the road. Pursue clarity from the secular world or obtain clarity from God’s word. If you pursue clarity from the secular world, you will never find it. However, God provides us clarity...
Five Challenges Facing the Church Universal "I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,[a] in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought" (1 Corinthians 1:10 NIV). Every church is the Holy House of God. However, the real church is the people and not the building. Therefore, each church has challenges that it must overcome to be successful. The church universal is a blessing from God. The Holy covenant of marriage is applied...
Acceptance is not Approval “Accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory” (Romans 15:7 NLT). The blood of Jesus provides us the opportunity for forgiveness of our sins. Our sins will be cast as far as the east is from the west once we earnestly repent and ask His forgiveness. However, our society has slowly tried to redefine what is and is not a sin. In the political world, these are known as wedge issues that force people to one side or the other. By design, there is no common ground. Similarly, the enemy...