Have you ever wondered what Paul meant when he said, “Pray without ceasing” (Ephesians 6:18)? If you’re like me, it’s hard enough time being focused for 5 minutes, much less a ceaseless prayer that is mentioned here!
But I think what Paul meant is for us to have a prayerful attitude throughout our day. The old gospel melody talks about “walkin’ and a talkin’ with my mind stayed on Jesus!” This is a powerful concept: what if we could have Jesus on our mind all day long? It would affect everything we say, and do, and even think – to the betterment for us and those around us! This is a possibility, for we know that Christ’s Spirit dwells within us and wants to empower and guide our lives throughout the day.
However, we also know that our flesh is weak and easily distracted. Plus, we have an enemy who works 24/7 to keep us feeling defeated. Our desire is to have Jesus on our minds all the time, but how can we do that?
Here are a couple of suggestions to help the staying power of Jesus to stay with us:
1. Don’t try for perfection; try for “better than yesterday.” If you thought about Jesus three times yesterday, shoot for four times today. Pretty soon you’ll be up to thirty times a day – an improvement of 10X’s! This was the plan of missionary Donald Baillie, who was eventually able to keep Jesus on his mind just about every waking moment.
2. Start off your day by giving it to Jesus. It can be as easy as one statement when you get out of bed. Ask Jesus to be at the center of your life. Ask Him to remind you to meet with Him in prayer throughout the day.
3. Set your watch to go off every two or three hours as a reminder to pray. When you hear the beep, let that remind you to lift up a quick prayer to get centered on Jesus. Ask Him to enter your life and sit on the throne of your heart.
4. Many short, direct prayers are better than fewer long ones. There is a place for extended prayer, but not during the course of a busy day. The object is to get “stayed” on Jesus. The short, direct prayers help us to allow Jesus to get into our ordinary, everyday lives. Those are the places where Jesus’ life transformation can take place the best.
5. At the end of each day, evaluate your encounters with Jesus. The important thing to realize is that this is not a “numbers” game (the more times you meet with Jesus, the more “brownie” points you get). Getting “stayed on Jesus” is a way of getting plugged into the life of Jesus. What lessons did I learn? How were people affected by my meeting with Jesus? What graces and blessings did I see today? Who are the hurting and the lost around me?
Being “stayed with Jesus” is not the extraordinary Christian life; it is the normal Christian life that God wants us to have. It’s living out Whole Life Worship in the Everyday Ordinary. It is something we can have, and something God wants for us. It’s up to us seize it. Get “stayed.”