The Climate

“We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers; constantly bearing in mind your work of faith and labor of love…” I Thessalonians 1:1-3
While watching a recent winter weather report on TV, I was struck by the weather map’s graphic depiction of the size and scope of the latest arctic blast. While the rest of the states were held tightly in the grip of frigid temperatures, the peninsula of Florida stood out like a green thumb.  To warm Floridians it must have looked like a huge “Thumb’s Up.” To me, it looked like Florida was thumbing its nose at those of us who didn’t have the good sense to move to a warmer climate. 
“God works in the climate of prayer. Prayer is behind closed doors, and God opens closed doors as a result of prayer.“            Dr. Michael Catt, Senior Pastor – Sherwood Baptist Church, Albany, GA
As Thanksgiving Day approaches, I am reminded of the attitude of gratitude. It is the heartbeat and birthmark of a child of God. Prayer is God’s way of breaking the icy grip of selfishness, and changing the climate of my cold heart when I give thanks to God. It is one thing to talk about the weather, but prayer brings about a real climate change in my heart, when I move towards the Son.
“Constantly bearing in mind” means remembering without ceasing. It carries a similar sentiment of a great old love song made famous by Glen Campbell,  “You are always on my mind.”
“What thanks can we render to God for you in return for all the joy with which we rejoice before God on your account, as we night and day keep praying most earnestly that we may see your face and complete what is lacking in your faith? “ 1 Thess. 3:10
“Night and day” includes praying for others even when it is inconvenient. It appears a bit extreme and even fanatical to the uninformed and disinterested, but earnest, passionate prayer is the only kind of prayer that touches the heart of God. 
Praying earnestly is costly. It comes with a price. It is an investment in the benefit of someone else, not yourself. It doesn’t take into account how long it takes. It doesn’t calculate how much it costs. Praying earnestly gives true meaning to the contemporary concept of “All in.”
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit.” I Thessalonians 5: 16-19
 “The original words for ‘without ceasing’ mean ‘stretched outedly.’ “ Dr. Herbert Lockyer, “All The Prayers of The Bible”
“Pray without ceasing” describes a habit of prayer that is carried out earnestly. It perseveres. It stretches out, in time and scope. It is not selfish, but selfless praying. It does not look at the clock on the wall, but the needs of others. It intercedes for the longest period of time, and reaches out to the largest number of people.
“Pray without ceasing” wherever the crises of life hit you. Pray on the water, in the water, or under the water. Prayer provides the scuba tanks to survive in a hostile climate.
Pray without ceasing” when you find yourself in the dark. Prayer will lead you back into the light. Prayer provides the night vision goggles to see what God is up to, even in the dark.
“Pray without ceasing” in the morning, through the day, and through the night. If you are sleepless, don’t remain prayerless. God may have awakened you to intercede for someone. Turn off the TV. Open your Bible. If you fall asleep praying it may be because the enemy sought to rob you of sleep by firing his darts of worry and fear into your heart. When you pray, you shoot the enemy’s arrows back at him. He always runs when you pray. Draw near to The Champion.
“Pray without ceasing” when you are reading, hearing, or watching the news. It turns your “Whine” List into a prayer list.
“Pray without ceasing” when you are driving. Praying for other drivers will keep you from cursing at them. Hearing the sound of an ambulance is a call to prayer. Observing a wreck on the side of the road is not a point of interest, but a divine appointment to pray for the victims. Pray with your eyes open.
“Pray without ceasing” when you are in a conversation. It will improve your listening skills, and keep a conversation from becoming two people conducting independent lecture series.
“Pray without ceasing” calls for the breath of The Spirit to blow upon God’s Holy fire in your heart to keep it from being extinguished, by the suffocating schemes and relentless intimidation of a ruthless enemy.
“Pray without ceasing” like breathing, is a vital sign of a healthy body.  It sustains a life-giving climate change in the hearts of believers, and strengthens the health of the Body of Christ.
Pray without ceasing” has no time limit or expiration date.  More than my daily bread, it is my next breath, and my constant source of life-sustaining grace. Prayer protects my faith from being extinguished, and The Body of Christ from experiencing extinction.
Note to Self: You may be able to stop talking, but the moment you stop breathing, you invite death not life.  Your sweat equity may make your faith appear death defying, but prayer will make it life giving. Refraining from talking is not enough to sustain your life. You must breathe. “Pray without ceasing” and you sustain and strengthen your faith with the breath of Heaven. “Pray without ceasing” is more like breathing than talking.  It is possible for you to live without talking, but you will have no life without breathing. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!