1 Thessalonians 5:17 – Pray constantly, rejoice in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
So how long can you hold your breath? I can do it for a minute and ten seconds. You can hold your breath if you want, and turn a delicate shade of Presbyterian blue. But most of us don't want to. As long as there's air — we'll breathe it.
So how long can you go without praying? An orthodox Jew should pray three times a day; a devout Muslim prays five times; how about a good Christian? Once a week and sometimes less in the cottage season? Before every meal but not before breakfast (no one's that religious that early)? Prayer before meetings start, of course. Prayer by the bedside in a hospital, to be sure. But how often do you really need to pray to be a good Christian?
The answer is a single word — always.
Praying, like breathing is what life's all about. We have a name for people who have stopped breathing. Dead.
Is there a different name for someone who has stopped praying?
Prayer: Gracious God, we are so busy making a living that we have little time for real living. Forgive us for not speaking to you and even more for not listening. Create again for us those still moments when we may stop, consider, pray and give thanks that you are God.
It's not long that we pray this day but it is our life as surely and as deeply as breath itself. Amen.