Verse: 1 Thessalonians 1:2
We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.
This may end up being a very short devotion, but as I read the first few verses of 1 Thessalonians, this word just captured my attention: continually. I just get this image of Paul spending every day praying through his list of friends, co-workers, and church plants. I wonder how much time he spent praying for those he loved.
And then when I turn that verse inward on my heart, I want to ask, "who am I praying for continually?" Who am I bringing before Jesus on a regular basis? Who am I covering in prayer every single day? Who am I asking for grace, strength, and power in their lives?
If I believe that prayer is powerful, and if I love other people, who am I praying for continually? Of course, like anything, we could turn this into a religious obligation, and that's not the heart. Look how he prays with thanksgiving in his heart. This doesn't seem like a burden to him, it seems like a joy.
So who are you praying for continually?
Paul writes in Ephesians 6:18 that we are to "pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people." And later in this book he will tell us to "rejoice always" and "pray continually" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17).
From scripture it seems that there is something about praying on a regular basis. I'm going to walk away from this verse with a greater sense of purpose in my prayers. I'm going to consider who I can/should be praying for continually. Maybe you can do the same.
I pray that you would show me who I can be praying for on a more consistent basis, Lord.