How To Pray Without Ceasing
As we live our lives before God as those who are praying without ceasing, here is an illustration. Stonewall Jackson was a man of prayer. Here is R.L. Dabney on how he prayed without ceasing:
Devotion was the very breath of his soul. Once only was he led to make a revelation of these constant aspirations, to a Christian associate peculiarly near to him; and his description of his intercourse with God was too beautiful and characteristic to be suppressed. This friend expressed to him some embarrassment in comprehending literally the precept to “pray always,” and to “pray without ceasing,” and asked his help in construing it. He replied that obedience ought not to be impracticable for the child of God. “But how,” said the other, “can one always be praying?” He answered that if it might be permitted to him, without suspicion of religious display, he would explain by describing his own habits. He then proceeded, with several parentheses, deprecating earnestly the charge of egotism, to say that, besides the stated daily sessions of secret and social prayer, he had long cultivated the habit of connecting the most trivial and customary acts of life with silent prayer. “When we take our meals,” said he, “there is the grace. When I take a draught of water, I always pause, as my palate receives the refreshment, to lift up my heart to God in thanks and prayer for the water of life. Whenever I drop a letter into the box at the post-office, I send a petition along with it, for God’s blessing upon its mission and upon the person to whom it is sent. When I break the seal of a letter just received, I stop to pray to God that he may prepare me for its contents, and make it a messenger of good. When I go to my class-room, and await the arrangement of the cadets in their places, that is my time to intercede with God for them. And so of every other familiar act of the day.” ‘But,” said his friend, “do you not often forget these seasons, coming so frequently?” “No,” said he, “I have made the practice habitual to me; and I can no more forget it, than forget to drink when I am thirsty.” He added that the usage had become as delightful to him as it was regular.
– Robert Lewis Dabney, The Life and Campaigns of Lieutenant General Thomas J. Stonewall Jackson, (Vision Forum), 106-07.