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The meaning of 1 Thessalonians 5:17: What it means to "pray without ceasing"

Categories Biblical Studies Commentaries (NT)

Paul believed that prayer was interaction with God with our spirit to God's Spirit. When a device pairs with something there's this kind of intercommunication, this link that happens.

Now, he would think of praying often as speaking—it doesn't always have be speaking, but it's some form of interaction. So, this idea that can you be praying while you're sleeping, that kind of thing, I think that's what Paul's talking about. What I think he's talking about is a certain disposition that we have.

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If you look at the context of 1 Thessalonians, the Christians in Thessalonica were stressed out. They were alarmed or troubled about what was going on around them. They were worried about some things.

Paul, if you notice in chapter 5, talks about the will of God. Maybe the Thessalonians were wondering, "How do we discern, or even divine, the will of God? Ancient pagans thought a lot about this. How do we divine the will of God?" What does Paul say? "This is the will of God, that you experience thanksgiving."

I think what he's trying to communicate with "pray without ceasing" is have this connectivity, this connection to God at all times in such that you have a dependence and reliance on Him full of trust, full of hope that when you have worries and concerns you have this disposition of bringing them to God.

This post has been lightly edited from the original transcript for the sake of clarity.

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