TEXT: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Rejoice evermore.
17 Pray without ceasing.
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
— PRAYER —
We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 343 messages in this series.
This is message #344 titled, Rejoice, Pray, Give Thanks, Repeat, Part 9.
The Byzantine archbishop Theophylact said, “Praying without ceasing shows the way to rejoice always—that is, incessant prayer and communion, for he that has accustomed himself to hold conversation with God, and to give thanks to Him over everything that happens as happening well, will evidently have unbroken joy.”
Unbroken joy is certainly something that we desire. What most of us miss, however, is that it is also a command. The Bible tells us to take action — to “rejoice evermore.” One of the ways we can remain in a joyful state of mind is by praying without ceasing. In our daily lives, we ought to remain in communication with God because we need Him every hour, every minute of the day.
Stanton Lee Endicott wrote:
I need Thee every hour
Most gracious Lord
No tender voice like Thine
Can peace afford
I need Thee oh I need Thee
Every hour I need Thee
Oh bless me now my Savior
I come to Thee
We are constantly tempted to be strong in our own might. But God does not mind us leaning on Him.
Anthony J. Showalter wrote:
What have I to dread, what have I to fear
Leaning on the everlasting arms?
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near
Leaning on the everlasting arms
Safe and secure from all alarms
Leaning on the everlasting arms
In fact, we are told in Ephesians 6:10, “Be strong in the Lord and in the power of HIS might.” We gain access to the power of God’s might through prayer, and especially through praying without ceasing.
Regarding this verse, Daniel Whedon said, “The recipe of Paul for a perpetual rejoicing is in two words: pray incessantly. It means, not necessarily being incessantly upon our knees, provided there be a perpetual submission of soul. It requires not perpetual utterance of words, provided there be a permanent communion of the heart with God. Yet that submission and that communion will often frame themselves in definite thought and positive words, and go out in vocal prayer for our own well-being and the highest good of others. And when the heart is in communion with God, and the soul has an interest in his unchanging favor, despondency, gloom, and glowering over earthly prospects and discomforts, are out of place.”
Another thing that will help us to rejoice evermore is to give thanks in everything. It is easy to gripe and complain about negative circumstances, but griping and complaining does not beget joy. Giving thanks is not something that happens to us — like praying without ceasing, it is an action that we must take. And, like many of the commands in Scripture, it does not come easy. We often find that complaints are readily on our tongues. However, those complaints come out of a heart that is lacking in gratitude. Truly grateful lives come out of grateful hearts. And, through prayer, we can repeatedly turn our attention to the good things that God has done and choose to be grateful for those things even when we don’t feel like it.
Percival A. Chubb wrote:
We lift our hearts in thanks today
For all the gifts of life;
And first, for peace that turns away
The enemies of strife;
And next, the beauty of the earth,
Its flowers and lovely things,
The spring’s great miracle of birth,
With sound of songs and wings;
Then, harvests of its teeming soil
In orchard, croft and field;
But more, the service and the toil
Of those who helped them yield;
And most, the gifts of hope and love,
Of wisdom, truth and right,
The gifts that shine like stars above
To chart the world by night.
As we receive, so let us give,
With ready, generous hand,
Rich fruitage from the lives we live
To bless our home and land.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.