Last week I discussed how we can be joyful always, even when life is very hard.   This week we are continuing our study of 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.  
This week I thought a lot about verse 17 which says:  pray continually;
I split my thoughts up into 3 different aspects of prayer:
What should we pray about?
Where can we pray?
When should we pray?
What should we pray about?  The short answer to this:  EVERYTHING!  Philippians 4:6 reminds us “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.”  We can talk to God about any and everything in our lives and he will listen to us.  We can ask for help, confess our sins to him, praise him for something wonderful, thank him, and even just tell him about what we are thinking about that day.  We is ALWAYS listening and that is such an amazing blessing to us.    
Does the prayer need to be perfect and have lots of Thees and Thous in it?  No it doesn’t.  It shouldn’t be done for other people to hear but for God.  Don’t worry if it’s not a super long prayer with eloquent words because Romans 8:26 says “…We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the [Holy] Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”  So be comforted knowing that the Spirit is going to help you pray and express your words better than you ever could.
Where can we pray?  The short answer:  ANYWHERE!  This is something I think many people struggle with.  Now I do think it’s great to have a set aside time to pray in quite but we will talk about that in a minute.  I have found that in my life I have prayed at home, church, school, work (which was school because I was a teacher), in the car, walking down our street, etc. When I was teaching Kindergarten, I would pray every morning in my empty classroom before I went to get my kids because I knew that I would need God’s guidance that day.  I would pray to keep patience when a kid was about to send me over the edge.  Most of my prayers were silent prayers in my head but God was listening to those just as much as someone standing in front of a crowd of thousands.  
You should also have a quiet place to go where you can pray uninterrupted.   I like to sit in my closet during Cole’s nap time and pray about everything that is on my mind.  I turn off the TV, phone, etc. and just sit in there and talk out loud.  Sometimes I even get down on my knees which can be a very humbling experience. If you have never done something like this, give it a try.  Focusing on prayer daily should be a priority for every Christian.  Matthew 6:5-6 tells us “And when you pray do not be like the hypocrites for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men.  I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father  who is unseen.  Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
When should we pray?  You can pray anytime of the day.  There are examples in the bible of Jesus praying at many different times of the day, even all night at one point.  We always think right before bed or when we wake up is best but any time is the right time to talk to God.  I read a quote today that really stuck with me.  It said:
This quote is SO true.  Sometimes our prayer life becomes very important when we get sick or need help but we quit praying when everything is okay again.  We should pray every day, through the sunshine and the storms.  Set aside a time every day when you aren’t too tired and pray.  You will be amazed at how your worries start to disappear when they are replaced by prayer.
I hope that by answering these 3 questions you understand why, as a Christian, you should pray continually!  God is ALWAYS there to listen, all he asks is that we make time for the conversation!
This is part 2 in my series on “What is God’s Will for Me?”  
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