How to Pray without Ceasing, What Does it Mean. Can We Really “Pray without Ceasing”?

What Does it Mean to Pray without Ceasing?

How to Pray without Ceasing

Sandwiched between Pharaoh’s army and the Red Sea, the children of Israel found themselves in a situation they could not control. Filled with the fear of certain death they began to complain and doubt rather than pray.

It is here Moses, who was God’s mouthpiece to the children of Israel, spoke words that we too must speak to ourselves when surrounded on all sides by life’s difficulties:

And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace Exodus 14:13-14 (NIV).

Like Moses, we must place our eternal hope in God and not ourselves. I believe this is why we are told in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to “pray without ceasing” or to “pray continually”. What does it mean to pray continuously? Here are a few ways we can begin the spiritual discipline of praying without ceasing:

Pray without Ceasing meaning

1. When We Pray without Ceasing, We Look First to God for Clarity, Not Ourselves or Others

1. When We Pray without Ceasing, We Look First to God for Clarity, Not Ourselves or Others

As we consistently look to God in all things, our perspective begins to change. The question is no longer how am I going to solve my problems but rather how is God going to display is might in my circumstance?

Adopting this perspective means we must purpose to make prayer our number one go to in times of difficulty: trumping friends, spouses, books, our limited ability, and popular opinion. 

The next time you’re facing a challenging circumstance, be mindful of whether or not your first inclination is to go to God in prayer, or whether you’re more often tempted to dwell on the problem or first talk it through with friends or family.

2. We Create Habits that Encourage Us to Pray Continually throughout the Day

2. We Create Habits that Encourage Us to Pray Continually throughout the Day

As believers in Jesus Christ, we have been invited to engage in a never ending dialogue with God. This conversation is not relegated to our knees but it can take place wherever we are: the bathroom, the umpteenth visit to the kitchen sink, sitting in carpool line, in the midst of an argument, or as we walk in the park. We are not limited to audible words because scripture tells us “the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans” in Romans 8:26 (NIV). And when we find ourselves needlessly dwelling on problems in our brains the Bible reminds us that He knows our thoughts in Psalms 139:2 (NIV).

This means in times of success, we pray. When we receive a terminal prognosis, we pray. In the face of adversity, we pray. As we wait on God, we pray. When are fatigued, we pray. And In times of defeat, we pray.

We won’t just wake up one day praying with this often in our days. This requires disciplined effort – building times in our day where we set aside time to pray. Maybe this is something you start before you get up, anytime you’re in the car, when you do the dishes, and before you go to bed. Start small, and build into a larger habit of daily prayer.

The beautiful thing is, the more we pray, we are often filled with joy from communion with our Father. This leads us to desire more prayer. 

3. We Have Confidence that He is Always With Us and Listens to Our Unceasing Prayers

3. We Have Confidence that He is Always With Us and Listens to Our Unceasing Prayers

We can talk to God anytime and anywhere because he is omnipresent. Matthew 28: 20 (NIV), encourages us with this truth when Jesus tells His disciples, “lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Where we are God is also because lives in us as stated by Galatians 2:20. If you, like me have found yourself trying to solve all your problems, let’s resolve to write a new narrative today. Choose to exchange the responsibility for fixing your dilemmas for the privilege of endless prayer with our Heavenly Father.

4. We Give Up the Belief that We Control Our Lives and Pray for His Will to Be Done

4. We Give Up the Belief that We Control Our Lives and Pray for His Will to Be Done

I’m a self-reliant type: a problem solver whose natural inclination is to fix her own circumstances. Although I’m fully aware of Proverbs 3:5-6 and it’s urging to trust in the Lord, I habitually gravitate to my own understanding: deeming it better to lean and depend on finite knowledge and limited wisdom. It’s my futile attempt at maintaining a semblance of control.

Life, however, is a very good reminder that I control nothing. Although I create endless to do list, record dates in my Google calendar, and spend large amounts of time tossing around solutions in my head, I am no match for the curve balls of life. I think this is by design.

God wants us to recognize our limitation and come humbly to him to satisfy our needs. As his children, God longs for us to make our requests known to him (Philippians 4:6). When we do this, we honor God’s power and glory by letting him reign over our lives, accomplishing his purposes for us.

Bible Verses on Praying Without Ceasing or Praying Continually

Bible Verses on Praying Without Ceasing or Praying Continually

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

And 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. – Ephesians 6:18

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. – Romans 12:12

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. – Colossians 4:2

Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. – Hebrews 13:15

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. – Philippians 4:6

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. – Jeremiah 33:3

Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually. – 1 Chronicles 16:11

Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, – Luke 18:1

Can We Really “Pray without Ceasing”?

Can We Really 'Pray without Ceasing'?

Prayer is a powerful way to connect with God, to develop a relationship with Him, and to cast your cares upon Him. There are countless examples of prayer throughout Scripture. It is apparent that prayer is significant to the faith of a believer. When we read about the life and ministry of Jesus in the Gospel accounts, we find that He prayed often and made this spiritual discipline a priority in His life. Jesus took time to get away and spend time with God. Prayer is incredibly important for every believer’s spiritual growth.

The Apostle Paul affirmed the significance of prayer, and wrote in one of the epistles, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

To pray is God’s will for us. But, as inspiring as that sounds, is it possible to pray without ceasing? What did Paul mean by such a statement? Pray without ceasing means to have a heart inclined to prayer, to pray often, and to make the discipline of prayer a high priority, just as Jesus did.

What Does “Without Ceasing” Mean?

The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle we know as 1 Thessalonians to the church of Thessalonica. He sent it shortly after he had established the congregation there. In the letter, he affirmed and commended their ongoing love and passion for Jesus. Paul also warned the church of Thessalonica to be prepared for the second coming of Jesus by keeping their hearts pure and holy for His return. It is in this context that we find Paul’s assertion to “pray without ceasing.”

In the fifth chapter of this epistle to the Thessalonians, Paul urged the church to cling to the Gospel they had received and to hold onto what was good and righteous. They were to continue living holy lives and prayer was essential to that instruction. Paul reminded them of the importance of prayer to keep their faith strong and to stay connected to God’s truth so that they would not be deceived by false messages.

The Greek word translated to “without ceasing” is αδιαλειπτως (adialeíptōs), which means constantly or without intermission. In most Bible translations, this word is interpreted as “without ceasing,” but other versions also translate to continually (NIV) or all the time (The Message).

Whichever version of the Bible you read, the meaning remains the same and consistent with the Greek word. The various translations of the Bible help emphasize the same message, which is to pray often and diligently.

Can We Really Pray without Ever Stopping? 

In the Bible, there are many kinds of prayers demonstrated. In your own life, you may also be accustomed to saying a variety of prayers. The verses and prayers that we read throughout Scripture can become the prayers we use in our time with God. Below are several examples of different prayers throughout the Bible:

It would be impossible to actually pray without ever stopping. We have thoughts, we read, we sleep, we eat, we converse with others, we work, and have a whole host of responsibilities to tend to throughout the day that would disrupt our attempts at constantly praying. There are plenty of tasks and roles we need to participate in that would naturally hinder our ability to pray without ever stopping.

When we take into account the context of what Paul wrote, we recognize that Paul wasn’t instructing believers to give up their responsibilities and only pray. Rather, this passage teaches us that we need to commit ourselves to prayer and make it a top priority in our lives. By doing so, we will remain holy and pure, having hearts ready for when Jesus returns. Prayer helps us stay accountable to living righteously.

The Lord’s Prayer (The Model Prayer Taught By Jesus)

“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one’” (Matthew 6:9-13).

Thanksgiving (Gratitude), Worship (Reverent Devotion), or Praise (Expressed Admiration)

“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds” (Psalm 9:1).

“There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God” (1 Samuel 2:2).

“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant” (Luke 1:46-48).

Prayers Seeking Forgiveness

“Be merciful to me, O God, because of your constant love. Because of your great mercy wipe away my sins! Wash away all my evil and make me clean from my sin!” (Psalm 51:1).

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Prayers for Various Needs, Healing, and Guidance

“Hear my voice when I call, Lord; be merciful to me and answer me” (Psalm 27:7).

“Guide my steps by your word, so I will not be overcome by evil” (Psalm 119:133).

“Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise” (Jeremiah 17:14).

“”So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Luke 11:9).

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).

Prayers of Intercession (Praying for Others, for Healing, or Deliverance)

“Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst” (Matthew 18:19-20).

“Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray” (Matthew 19:13).

“Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven” (James 5:14-15).

Individual Prayers (Praying to God and Spending Time with Him One-on-One)

“When you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you” (Matthew 6:6).

“It was at this time that Jesus went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God” (Luke 6:12).

Communal Prayers (Praying with Other Believers)

“They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus” (Acts 1:14).

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).

How Can We Apply This Verse to Our Lives?

1 Thessalonians 5:17 serves as a serious reminder to all believers how significant prayer is to our faith. Prayer is the way we talk to God, hear from God, and keep our minds on Him. Prayer is the channel in which we can let go of fears and concerns, and how we lift up our praises and thanks to God.

Prayer is vital to our spiritual formation and growth. Just as Jesus was often seen taking time away to go pray, we should do the same. Paul knew that prayer was key to guarding our hearts against evil and to keeping ourselves in line with God’s will.

As Christians, it is important to pray to God and to carve out time throughout the day to speak to Him and worship Him. Paul was right when he wrote to the church of Thessalonica, urging them to pray often because prayer is what helps us find our way through difficult times, tough decisions, or expressing our hopes and joy. Prayer draws us closer to God and helps us practice our faith. Prayer has been a spiritual practice since the beginning of time and the point Paul made was that prayer is still something that all Christians need to integrate into our lives.

1 Thessalonians 5:17

Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
pray continually,

New Living Translation
Never stop praying.

English Standard Version
pray without ceasing,

Berean Study Bible
Pray without ceasing.

Berean Literal Bible
Pray unceasingly.

New American Standard Bible
pray without ceasing;

New King James Version
pray without ceasing,

King James Bible
Pray without ceasing.

Christian Standard Bible
pray constantly,

Contemporary English Version
and never stop praying.

Good News Translation
pray at all times,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Pray constantly.

International Standard Version
Continually be prayerful.

NET Bible
constantly pray,

New Heart English Bible
Pray without ceasing.

A Faithful Version
Pray unceasingly.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Pray without ceasing.

GOD’S WORD® Translation
Never stop praying.

New American Standard 1977
pray without ceasing;

King James 2000 Bible
Pray without ceasing.

American King James Version
Pray without ceasing.

American Standard Version
pray without ceasing;

Douay-Rheims Bible
Pray without ceasing.

Darby Bible Translation
pray unceasingly;

English Revised Version
pray without ceasing;

Webster’s Bible Translation
Pray without ceasing.

Weymouth New Testament
Be unceasing in prayer.

World English Bible
Pray without ceasing.

Young’s Literal Translation
continually pray ye;

Study Bible Christian Living
16Rejoice at all times. 17 Praywithout ceasing.18Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.…Berean Study Bible · 

Daniel 6:10
Now when Daniel learned that the document had been signed, he went into his house, where the windows of his upper room opened toward Jerusalem, and three times a day he got down on his knees, prayed, and gave thanks to his God, just as he had done before.

Ephesians 6:18
Pray in the Spirit at all times, with every kind of prayer and petition. To this end, stay alert with all perseverance in your prayers for all the saints.

Treasury of Scripture

Pray without ceasing.

Pray.

Luke 18:1
And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

Luke 21:36
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

Romans 12:12
Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

Lexicon Pray
προσεύχεσθε (proseuchesthe)
Verb – Present Imperative Middle or Passive – 2nd Person Plural
Strong’s Greek 4336: To pray, pray for, offer prayer. From pros and euchomai; to pray to God, i.e. Supplicate, worship.

without ceasing.
ἀδιαλείπτως (adialeiptōs)
Adverb
Strong’s Greek 89: Unceasingly, without remission. Adverb from adialeiptos; uninterruptedly, i.e. Without omission.

Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers

(17) Pray without ceasing.–Theophylact well says, “This shows the way to ‘rejoice always’–to wit, incessant prayer and eucharist, for he that has accustomed himself to hold converse with God, and to give thanks to Him over everything that happens as happening well, will evidently have unbroken joy.” Though a man cannot be incessantly praying in words, the mind may be held continuously in an attitude of prayer, even in sleep (Song of Solomon 5:2).

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 17. – Pray without ceasing. The means of promoting religious joy is prayer. This prayer is to be “without ceasing,” implying constancy (Colossians 4:2) and perseverance (Romans 12:12; Ephesians 6:18; Luke 18:1). This is not a mere precept “capable of fulfillment in idea, rather than in fact” (Jowett); but it is an exhortation to live in a devotional frame of mind. It is impossible to be always on our bended knees, but we may be in the spirit of prayer when engaged in the duties of our earthly calling. Prayer may be without ceasing in the heart which is full of the presence of God, and evermore communing with him.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 Commentaries

How do I pray without ceasing?

How do I pray without ceasing? Dr. Ligon Duncan shares practical tips to help Christians in their prayer life.

Praying without ceasing will not happen without practice and planning. All of us, I think, want to grow in our practice of prayer. I have a dear friend who often says, “If you want to humble a Christian, ask him about his prayer life.” I think most of us would love to grow in our practice of prayer.

Pay Attention to Praying Christians

One thing is, pay close attention when you come into contact with praying Christians. I know that my getting to know Mark Dever, the pastor of Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., and my getting to know Doug Kelly, a professor of theology at RTS in Jackson and in Charlotte, had a profound effect on my prayer life because in those two men, I met men of prayer. They didn’t think about prayer. They didn’t just write about prayer. They pray. They had a robust, healthy practice of prayer. And being around people of prayer helps you to grow in prayer. You don’t just admire them, you seek to emulate them, and you learn from them in their practice of prayer. And I thank God every day for those two men who, because they lived a life of prayer, invited me into a better understanding of what it means to be a praying person.

Start Praying and Keep Praying

Here’s the other thing: pray. You’ve got to start praying. And if you don’t know how to start or how to get yourself started, open up the Bible to the Psalms and just start praying the Psalms right back to God as if they are your prayers that you wrote or thought up yourself. Take the Psalms, start praying the Bible back to God. That is one of the best ways to learn how to pray without ceasing. And it’s just to learn how to take the Bible and turn it back to God in prayer.Take the Psalms, start praying the Bible back to God.

Because for all of us, there are going to be days when we get up in the morning and we cannot get words out of our mouth. And there’ll be a variety of reasons for that. Sometimes there is a great burden on us. Sometimes there’s a great sadness on us. Sometimes we feel cold and distant from God. And in those times we just need to go to the Bible and start praying the Bible back to God until we can pray. The Puritans used to say, “Pray until you pray.” And by that they meant they understood that sometimes we just we can’t pray. We feel like our words are hitting the ceiling and they’re coming back to us. And what do you do? You take the Bible. You start praying and praying and praying it until you realize that you’re praying. You’re talking to God. Your soul is doing business with God.

Make a Plan

And then I would simply say this: you’re going to have to plan. You’re going to have to have regular practices that are woven into your life that allow you to pray regularly. Obviously, one of those things is learning to pray the first thing when you get up in the morning and the last thing before you go to bed at night, weaving prayer into the regular life of your family, not just around prayers at mealtimes, but family prayers. Sometimes I’ll take a book of prayers, and I will make it my practice to pray those prayers at different times of the day, especially starting first thing in the morning.

All of those things are good ways to learn how to pray without ceasing. Find good examples and learn from them, pray the Bible back to God, and then just plan. Plan to pray. All those things will help you pray without ceasing.

More on – How to Pray without Ceasing

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, ESV).

Impossible, right? Maybe in the olden days, when every task directly affected your family’s survival—of course they prayed, because if the crop died, they’d starve. If someone got sick there was no medicine to help. Life was dangerous and fragile, and people weren’t distracted by social media and cell phones. But today? Who could be expected to keep their mind on God at all times? Surely God wouldn’t expect that of us, because He knows more than anyone how flawed we are, and how short our attention spans are.

Except that nowhere in the Bible is there an asterisk after that verse that says, “*unless you’re really busy.”

Here’s the good news. Not only is it possible to pray without ceasing, but it’s possible to do so without making any significant changes to your schedule or time commitments. It’s all about shifting your thought process and turning everyday moments into prayer. My friend Lisa gave me the best explanation I’ve ever heard: it’s like keeping the radio playing in the background. Keep that connection open and talk to God as you go through your day. Here are nine ways to pray without ceasing:

1. Begin with gratitude.

1. Begin with gratitude.

Psalm 100:4 says “enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” 

In other words, start by telling God what you’re thankful for. Prayer doesn’t have to be asking for something; it can simply be thanking Him from your heart for what He has already done.

2. Get real.

2. Get real.

If prayer had to be a stiff, formal language—“our most holy and mighty God, we beseech ye…”—first of all, we’d be bored and feel out of our element most of the time. And secondly, we would find it hard to keep that up for an extended period of time. But prayer is simply a conversation. Talk to Him the way you would talk to a friend. Sit down with a cup of coffee and just let the words pour out, casually, simply. Just be real. 

3. Incorporate prayer into everyday chores.

3. Incorporate prayer into everyday chores.

Let your everyday tasks become acts of worship by turning them into times of prayer. As you fold laundry, pray for each family member—and then if your laundry piles are as high as mine, and you’re done praying but not done folding, branch out from there. Pray for your child’s soccer teammates, for the teachers standing in front of your children’s classrooms, for the partner who works hard to pay the bills, for health to stay active, for the workplaces where the clothes are worn. Or simply give thanks for the warmth of the home where you relax in those pajamas.

4. Tell Him what He already knows.

4. Tell Him what He already knows.

When my first child was in kindergarten, I realized that although I had a pretty good idea what she did at school, I didn’t need to know the details. But when she told me about how she and Jacob played at recess, or laughed as she tried to tell me the story her teacher read that day, it deepened my connection with my daughter. I got to see her life through her eyes and I reveled in her unique perspective. Of course, God already knows what’s in our hearts—but when we offer our thoughts to him, it turns what might be a solitary life into a richer, more meaningful relationship. And I think God delights in this.

5. Pray while you wait.

5. Pray while you wait.

Most of us waste a lot of time while we wait for our daily grande nonfat mochas—or whatever. A quick online search reports that we each average two years of our lives waiting in line, and the average commuter spends 38 hours a year in traffic. Turn your car into a prayer closet, or let your mind take you someplace else while the person in line ahead of you buys her drink using four nearly-empty gift cards and then empties her coin purse of pennies. 

Transform that “wasted” time into something meaningful—pray for the people you expect to encounter that day or the tasks you need to accomplish. Give thanks for your day, for the job paying for your favorite caffeinated beverage, for the young man working as a cashier to pay his college tuition, for the extravagant blessing of a giant store stocked with more products than we need. Count your blessings—because they’re everywhere—and make those minutes count.

6. Sing a song of praise.

6. Sing a song of praise.

“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise” (James 5:13). 

Often, we think of prayer as what to do when we need God to fix something or when we’re unhappy. But the Bible encourages us to pray at all times. Remember the idea of prayer being like a radio playing in the background all the time? Make that literal by listening to worship music. As you sing along, offer it to God as your prayer. Or, better yet, make up your own song along the way. Nobody is listening but Him, so don’t worry if you’re out of tune.

7. When you mess up, admit it.

7. When you mess up, admit it.

I don’t know about you, but I could spend most of my praying-without-ceasing time simply confessing a litany of my sins and failings: I just yelled at my kids; I’m jealous of the perfect little family one my friends posts about daily on Facebook; so-and-so is a real jerk and I don’t like him… and so on. Luckily, when we confess, God forgives us, so we don’t need to dwell there. That in itself is another reason to praise Him.

8. Give up worrying.

8. Give up worrying.

Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” 

We’re not meant to worry, and we waste too many minutes doing just that. Next time something weighs heavy on your heart, envision yourself extending it up to God and letting Him hold it for you. Ask Him what your role is and if there is something you need to do; if so, do it. But don’t take back the weight of the worry. Then start thanking God for who He is and what He has already done for you, and you’ll feel the weight lifting off your shoulders as the words come.

9. Stop talking once in awhile. Instead, just listen.

9. Stop talking once in awhile. Instead, just listen.

“And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words” (Matthew 6:7). 

The number (or quality) of words you use in prayer doesn’t matter, because prayer is about God, not about us. Allow yourself to contemplate the nearness of God. Trust that He is your constant companion. Don’t monopolize the dialogue, but spend some of your time just being, simply sitting and resting in His presence. And keep in mind that the best conversations are two-sided, but you won’t hear anything if you never stop to listen.

Start Praying Now

Start Praying Now

Dear Lord, I believe that prayer matters, but I also think that we shortchange ourselves by limiting our definition of prayer. Open my mind to all that it can be. Help me become aware of Your nearness and abide in Your presence. Teach me to talk to You—and remind me to listen. Overflow my heart with gratitude for all that You’ve done and who You are. Let my life become a never-ending prayer to You. Amen.

Pray Without Ceasing

Romans 12:12 ESV / 1,222 helpful votes
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 ESV / 315 helpful votes
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV / 211 helpful votes
Pray without ceasing,

Philippians 4:6 ESV / 179 helpful votes
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Ephesians 6:18 ESV / 137 helpful votes
Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

Matthew 6:6 ESV / 117 helpful votes
But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Colossians 4:2 ESV / 116 helpful votes
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

Romans 8:26 ESV / 90 helpful votes
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

Matthew 21:22 ESV / 82 helpful votes
And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

Jeremiah 33:3 ESV / 65 helpful votes
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.

Matthew 6:9-13 ESV / 61 helpful votes
Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Matthew 7:7 ESV / 59 helpful votes
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

James 5:16 ESV / 56 helpful votes
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

Luke 18:1-8 ESV / 55 helpful votes
And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” …

1 John 5:14 ESV / 49 helpful votes
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.

John 14:13 ESV / 43 helpful votes
Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

1 Peter 5:7 ESV / 41 helpful votes
Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

John 15:7 ESV / 41 helpful votes
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Luke 18:1 ESV / 39 helpful votes
And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.

Psalm 37:4 ESV / 37 helpful votes
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV / 37 helpful votes
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Hebrews 4:16 ESV / 35 helpful votes
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Philippians 2:13 ESV / 33 helpful votes
For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Matthew 6:7 ESV / 33 helpful votes
“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.

Hebrews 13:15 ESV / 32 helpful votes
Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.

Romans 8:26-27 ESV / 30 helpful votes
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Matthew 6:9 ESV / 28 helpful votes
Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

Psalm 66:18 ESV / 27 helpful votes
If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

2 Thessalonians 1:11 ESV / 24 helpful votes
To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power,

Colossians 3:23 ESV / 22 helpful votes
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,

Romans 12:11 ESV / 22 helpful votes
Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.

Daniel 6:10 ESV / 22 helpful votes
When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.

Deuteronomy 28:1-68 ESV / 22 helpful votes
“And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. …

1 Corinthians 12:31 ESV / 21 helpful votes
But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

Psalm 119:135 ESV / 20 helpful votes
Make your face shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes.

Psalm 118:17 ESV / 20 helpful votes
I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.

Psalm 46:1 ESV / 20 helpful votes
To the choirmaster. Of the Sons of Korah. According to Alamoth. A Song. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

2 Corinthians 8:7 ESV / 19 helpful votes
But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.

Matthew 6:1-34 ESV / 19 helpful votes
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. …

Hebrews 6:10-12 ESV / 16 helpful votes
For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Luke 21:36 ESV / 16 helpful votes
But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

1 Peter 4:7 ESV / 15 helpful votes
The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.

1 Thessalonians 5:16 ESV / 15 helpful votes
Rejoice always,

1 Thessalonians 5:1-28 ESV / 15 helpful votes
Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. …

Matthew 6:14-15 ESV / 15 helpful votes
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Romans 12:8 ESV / 14 helpful votes
The one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

Luke 18:7-8 ESV / 14 helpful votes
And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”

Psalm 147:1 ESV / 14 helpful votes
Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.

Romans 8:34 ESV / 13 helpful votes
Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.

Isaiah 1:1-31 ESV / 13 helpful votes
The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the Lord has spoken: “Children have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master’s crib, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged. Why will you still be struck down? Why will you continue to rebel? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. …

Psalm 139:1-24 ESV / 13 helpful votes
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. …

Hosea 6:3 ESV / 12 helpful votes
Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”

Proverbs 23:17 ESV / 12 helpful votes
Let not your heart envy sinners, but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day.

1 Peter 3:13 ESV / 11 helpful votes
Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?

1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV / 11 helpful votes
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Mark 11:24 ESV / 11 helpful votes
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Psalm 145:18 ESV / 11 helpful votes
The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

1 Chronicles 16:11 ESV / 11 helpful votes
Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!

Hebrews 4:11 ESV / 10 helpful votes
Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 ESV / 10 helpful votes
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.

2 Thessalonians 3:1 ESV / 10 helpful votes
Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you,

Luke 4:18 ESV / 10 helpful votes
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,

Psalm 69:9 ESV / 10 helpful votes
For zeal for your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me.

Joshua 1:1-18 ESV / 10 helpful votes
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, “Moses my servant is dead. Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given to you, just as I promised to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you. …

Numbers 11:29 ESV / 10 helpful votes
But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!”

1 John 5:15 ESV / 9 helpful votes
And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

James 5:13 ESV / 9 helpful votes
Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.

Philippians 4:6-7 ESV / 9 helpful votes
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 4:18 ESV / 9 helpful votes
It is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, and not only when I am present with you,

1 Corinthians 14:12 ESV / 9 helpful votes
So with yourselves, since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the church.

1 Chronicles 4:10 ESV / 9 helpful votes
Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked.

1 Samuel 1:1-28 ESV / 9 helpful votes
There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite. He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. Now this man used to go up year by year from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the Lord. On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb. …

1 John 5:16 ESV / 8 helpful votes
If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask, and God will give him life—to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that.

1 Timothy 2:8 ESV / 8 helpful votes
I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;

2 Corinthians 11:2 ESV / 8 helpful votes
For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.

Romans 12:2 ESV / 8 helpful votes
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

John 3:16 ESV / 8 helpful votes
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Luke 11:1 ESV / 8 helpful votes
Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”

Matthew 11:12 ESV / 8 helpful votes
From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.

Matthew 7:1-29 ESV / 8 helpful votes
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. …

Matthew 6:5 ESV / 8 helpful votes
“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

Isaiah 59:1-2 ESV / 8 helpful votes
Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear.

Ezra 7:23 ESV / 8 helpful votes
Whatever is decreed by the God of heaven, let it be done in full for the house of the God of heaven, lest his wrath be against the realm of the king and his sons.

2 Chronicles 6:41 ESV / 8 helpful votes
“And now arise, O Lord God, and go to your resting place, you and the ark of your might. Let your priests, O Lord God, be clothed with salvation, and let your saints rejoice in your goodness.

1 Kings 19:10 ESV / 8 helpful votes
He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.”

Numbers 25:10-13 ESV / 8 helpful votes
And the Lord said to Moses, “Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, has turned back my wrath from the people of Israel, in that he was jealous with my jealousy among them, so that I did not consume the people of Israel in my jealousy. Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him my covenant of peace, and it shall be to him and to his descendants after him the covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the people of Israel.’”

2 Corinthians 9:2 ESV / 7 helpful votes
For I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the people of Macedonia, saying that Achaia has been ready since last year. And your zeal has stirred up most of them.

Psalm 119:139 ESV / 7 helpful votes
My zeal consumes me, because my foes forget your words.

Psalm 55:17 ESV / 7 helpful votes
Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice.

Hebrews 13:17 ESV / 6 helpful votes
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

2 Corinthians 8:22 ESV / 6 helpful votes
And with them we are sending our brother whom we have often tested and found earnest in many matters, but who is now more earnest than ever because of his great confidence in you.

2 Corinthians 7:6-7 ESV / 6 helpful votes
But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted by you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more.

Romans 10:9 ESV / 6 helpful votes
Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

John 2:17 ESV / 6 helpful votes
His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

Matthew 6:13 ESV / 6 helpful votes
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Isaiah 63:14-16 ESV / 6 helpful votes
Like livestock that go down into the valley, the Spirit of the Lord gave them rest. So you led your people, to make for yourself a glorious name. Look down from heaven and see, from your holy and beautiful habitation. Where are your zeal and your might? The stirring of your inner parts and your compassion are held back from me. For you are our Father, though Abraham does not know us, and Israel does not acknowledge us; you, O Lord, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is your name.

1 Thessalonians 5:25 ESV / 5 helpful votes
Brothers, pray for us.

Colossians 4:1 ESV / 5 helpful votes
Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

Philippians 2:1-30 ESV / 5 helpful votes
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, …

Philippians 1:1-30 ESV / 5 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. …

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