Q. Referring to 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Paul states that we are to “pray continually” (NIV). Surely he didn’t mean that we’re to have our heads bowed and praying endlessly for 24/7. Would a better interpretation possibly mean that we should continually remain in a mindful state of prayer?
A. Jesus said He’d be with us always, to the very end of the age (Matt. 28:20). That means even though He’s invisible He’s our constant companion, always at our side. If you had a visible friend who was your constant companion, you would maintain a running conversation throughout the day. You would make comments or observations, discuss topics of importance, ask for advice or direction, or pose questions about this or that. If your friend caused something nice to happen, you would say thanks. If you didn’t know what to do in a particular case you would ask your friend for help. Same if you needed a favor. I believe this is what Paul had in mind in 1 Thes. 5:17.
Jesus is a powerful friend. He can get you out of a jam, make a belligerent person more accommodating, help you decide on an article of clothing, lead you out of an unfamiliar place, or make the gas in your empty tank last until you reach a filling station. He also has a whole army of angels at His command. He can dispatch them to find a parking place or a lost key or purse for you. The list is endless. The person who wrote, “What a Friend we have in Jesus” wasn’t exaggerating. Don’t leave home without Him.