Does any one really pray without ceasing? How do you do it? I know we are told to, but I don’t know how. I enjoy Daily Mass, the Rosary,etc. should I just keep with my more formal prayers? I often repeat short prayers, like the Miraculous Medal, “Oh, Mary, concieved without sin, pray for those who have recourse to thee.” I am sure whole hours go by without my prayer, like at the Grocery Store, etc. I would be very grateful if some one could explain how Prayer without Ceasing is done.
Well, I think it is sort of like “Be perfect, as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” You just got to keep on trying. I don’t think I have succeeded, but I am way closer to praying without ceasing than I was 30 years ago.
I think some of the religious orders do…
In a way, I think if you say the “Morning Offering” every day, you are offering your prayers, works, joys and sufferings.
That could be seen as “praying without ceasing”.
You don’t need to be a religious to do this. It is not easy but with practice one can get better. I suggest a book by Brother Lawrence titled something like “Practice the Presece of God”. Small book but great stuff. Frequenting the sacraments will give you many graces as well. God bless.
The “trick”, if the following practice can be characterized as such, is to consider our every action as prayer. As Scripture tells us - and as we are continually reminded during the Mass - “in Him we live and move and have our being”.
Our goal, therefore, is to not solely fixate on the recitation of “formal” prayer (e.g. The Our Father, The Hail Mary, etc.) but rather to see the transcendent value in every little thing we can do for God. Whether it be focusing the mind’s eye on Him in silent conversation or dedicating our day’s activity in its entirety to Him, our very existence becomes unceasing prayer.
I highly recommend that one begins each and every day with a “morning offering”; in this way does one not only engage in “formal” prayer, but he further makes a sacrifice of praise out of otherwise mundane daily experience.
I like this question because i have a little plaque with that verse on it,
and i attempt to talk and walk with God all the time…
practicing the Presence, like Brother Lawrence did.
Also, work is worship when done in a spirit of service,
so that about covers the waking state.
Now, for the hard part: when you lay your head on the pillow!
I have committed,
O my Lord,
my spirit and my entire being
into the right hand of Thy might
and Thy protection,
and I lay my head on my pillow through Thy power,
and lift it up according to Thy will and Thy good pleasure.
Thou art, in truth, the Preserver, the Keeper, the Almighty, the Most Powerful.
~a Baha’i Prayer
This is the subject of the Orthodox classic WAY OF A PILGRIM.
Read “The Way of a Pilgrim”. Just stay away from the Palamite aspects.
Mad Amos…I am not in the habit of saying this…but huzzah…that’s how. What you said. God never asks the impossible…and clearly we are asked to pray without ceasing…so yes…it is inevitable that someone does…if not the way you suggested…some other way…someone actually prays without ceasing because God commands it.
Oh my Jesus, throught the immaculate heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day…
***" I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship.
Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect."***
GraceandGlory: I like your screen name (these two divine attributes are my favorites)
and what you said.
It has helped me to memorize as many prayers as possible, to recite at any time. It may help to look at this verse in its context, so we would be better able to wear it.
1 Thess. 5:16 Rejoice evermore.
5:17 Pray without ceasing.
5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
5:19 Quench not the Spirit.
5:20 Despise not prophesyings.
5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
Verse 20 implies that prophesyings continue, which should be judged by their fruits,
(You cannot get good fruit from a bad tree, and vice versa. Matt. 7:16-20)
“Thank thy Lord on His earth that He may bless thee in His heaven; albeit in the world of oneness, this heaven is the same as His earth.” (Baha’u’llah, The Seven Valleys, p. 42)
Pray without ceasing is simply an expression meaning pray regularly every day.
It does not mean to pray non-stop 24 hours a day.
No, actually it means pray non-stop 24 hours a day.
‘We must pray literally without ceasing – without ceasing; in every occurrence and employment of our lives.’
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
‘For can anyone be excused who, by ceasing to pray, has shown that he did not wish to overcome his enemy.’
‘I consider that it is obvious to everyone that it is impossible to live virtuously without the aid of prayer.’
St. John Chrysostom
‘Prayer is, beyond doubt, the most powerful weapon the Lord gives us to conquer evil passions and temptations of the devil; but we must really put ourselves into our prayer: it is not enough just to say the words, it must come from the heart. And also prayer needs to be continuous, we must pray no matter what kind of situation we find ourselves in: the warfare we are engaged in is on-going, so our prayer must be on-going also.’
‘All souls in hell are there because they did not pray. All the saints sanctified themselves by prayer.’
St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori
‘When you sit down to eat, pray. When you eat bread, do so thanking Him for being so generous to you. If you drink wine, be mindful of Him who has given it to you for your pleasure and as a relief in sickness. When you dress, thank Him for His kindness in providing you with clothes. When you look at the sky and the beauty of the stars, throw yourself at God’s feet and adore Him who in His wisdom has arranged things in this way. Similarly, when the sun goes down and when it rises, when you are asleep or awake, give thanks to God, who created and arranged all things for your benefit, to have you know, love and praise their Creator.’
St. Basil the Great
‘The more I contemplate God, the more God looks on me. The more I pray to Him, the more He thinks of me too.’
St. Bernadette Soubirous
Don’t say it is too hard. Say if you love God, you will fight for Him. Trust Him to give you the strength.
I consider time spent here as praying – studying about our faith and doing the prayer requests. i know i could always do better. good post. thanks
There is a development in one’s spirituality and prayer life where “prayer without ceasing” is accomplished through the unconscious activity of the mind. In other words, we are in a continuous state of prayer. We know this in that such activity “bubbles up” as it were from the depths of our being and we are aware of the dialogue that is taking place between our selves and the Lord. We also recognize the Lord in each person we meet, meaning, that we actually seek recognition of Christ through the other person. Also, we keep vigilant in our daily awareness that there is a connection between God and us onm a personal level.
That’s ridiculous and not true. So we are not supposed to sleep or eat or have a job or a family or leisure time? Praying non-stop 24 hours a day according to you would mean no life at all.
Even the religious and other people who spend their life in prayer do not pray NON-STOP 24 hours a day. That is physically impossible.
No, it isn’t.
You can always keep God in your mind in all you do, think of Him at all hours, do all you do for God’s sake, and you can, if sufficiently united with God, even love Him while you sleep, dreaming of Him, still united with Him in communion.
Even people who love each other in an earthly way, can dream of their lover and think of that lover 24/7.
You must love God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul. That is the commandment. So it is not impossible.
You can make your eating a prayer, because you are thanking God and appreciating God through the food. Or better, appreciating God and ignoring the food for the most part, or taking food you dislike for God’s sake.
You can make your sleeping a prayer because you are sleeping for God’s sake so you can begin a new day, and not for your own desires for rest, so that interrupted you willingly give up the rest for God.
Prayer is communication with God. Our goal is to have our hearts always loving Him, and communicating with Him, and to have our minds always upon Him.
The saints do it on earth and in Heaven. Everyone in Heaven does it. So we have to go from here to there. … sooner or later… or we never get there at all, because we don’t love what they do there.
When you have achieved the third part of the spiritual journey, union with God, you will indeed always be praying.
I respectfully disagree. One can pray almost non-stop; giving thanks as one goes thru the day for the gifts we are given, whether it be nature, the person we love, our job, etc. Just because you are eating doesn’t mean you brain can’t pray - one doesn’t have to have speech coming forth from their mouth, one can multi-task. As to one’s family, include them, after-all it is part of our job to raise up our spouse to bring them closer to the Lord, again. I believe there was a saint who read or prayed even while taking care of toileting - I know I do (I know, TMI, but it proves a point). As to leisure time, even then, give thanks for having the leisure time - the brain never stops, so praying doesn’t have to stop. As to sleep, then it gets somewhat tricky, but I pray while I’m falling asleep & first thing when my eyes open in the morning. There are times I get distracted but then I ask for forgiveness & help to get back on track.
Right…you are thinking of only one meaning of the word “to pray.” This is where protestants freak out that we “pray” to Mary.
Shin and Katmtogo are right on. This is not forget the world and just say a hundred rosaries a day prayer. This is a let everything that I am give glory to God kind of prayer.
To grasp this idea I would suggest three resources:
- The Way of a Pilgrim (Which introduces the prayer of the heart of the Eastern Orthodox) it’s a very simple read
2, A FIre Within: Prayer Primer by Fr. Thomas Dubay
- Interior Castles by St. Teresa of Avila