Pray without Ceasing

Maria Smith's picture

Brother Lawrence (in his daily routines), and the early Hasidic leaders, each found different ways to pray while working, walking, in conversational breaks, cleaning up, cooking, and so on. You, too, have many opportunities for short sentence prayers of thanks or concern. For example:

• while sitting on a commuter train;
• while waiting at a doctor's office;
• between TV commercials (hit the mute button, pray for a moment);
• in any line while waiting

The more you pray in places outside of church or home, the more naturally Christ will come to mind there. It will seem much less like a separate, Godless world, and more of a whole in which the Spirit is afoot everywhere.
Setting a schedule helps to create a habit or pattern of prayer, and turns the believer back to God throughout the day. It's not about how you do it or how many times a day you do it, it's about turning to God in the midst of what you do during the day, helping to keep the whole day in prayer. Many find it helpful to give each prayer time a separate focus. For instance, a daytime worker would set up the day ahead at midmorning by praying about each item on the schedule, and the midafternoon prayer would be to help them leave their job behind in mind and body (some people find it difficult to let go of their work).

"The Apostle Paul had a purpose in saying: 'Pray without ceasing'. Are we then to ceaselessly bend our knees, to lie prostrate, or to lift up our hands? There is another, interior kind of prayer without ceasing, namely, the desire of the heart. “The constancy of your desire will itself be the ceaseless voice of your prayer." – Augustin of Hippo

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