In 1-Thessalonians 5:12-28, we hear St. Paul say: “See that none of you repays evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.”
Paul reminds us of our need to always love one another. This includes all kinds of people. We have difficulty with this. Look around the world at the lack of love for others.
Man is in a constant state of digging up old grudges and finding new ones, fighting over boundary lines, and wrestling for the material. Murder has become an all too familiar way to solve problems. Our tongues reach out and try to hurt those who hurt us. We falsely accuse our brothers and sisters to get revenge.
As Paul goes on to tell us, “Do not quench the Spirit.” It is God’s will in Christ Jesus for us to celebrate in all circumstances. When we move away from Him by not rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks we open ourselves up to fighting evil with evil and selectively doing good to others. We quench the Spirit.
We think it is impossible to “pray without ceasing.” How can we possibly conduct our lives if we are always praying? This is something for a monk to do, not an ordinary man.
Our concern should not be that constant prayer would interfere with conducting life’s business. We should be more concerned that life’s business will interfere with prayer. We must recognize that there is always an opportunity and time for prayer.
Prayer will help in all that we do whether at work or at play. “Prayer without ceasing” is a way to have an ongoing conversation with God. If we include God in all that we do, we have our best support and guidance. There is a definite connection between prayer and rejoicing.
Why would we not give thanks and rejoice when we have our creator, the one who made all things, with us in all that life brings us? When we don’t invite Him into our lives through prayer, guess who’s trying to control things? Don’t we have a better chance with God in charge instead of relying on ourselves?
If prayer puts us in touch with the source of all that there is, we have a home field advantage. A win is guaranteed. Don’t quench the Spirit. Rejoice and Give Thanks!