Unceasing Prayer and Continual Praise

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by Suzanne D. Williams

My days have been filled with physical pain. At some point in my past, I strained a back muscle. It could have been from any number of activities. I am not a particularly strong person, simply one that is determined to do things. To my detriment, it seems, because in recent days, I aggravated that injury and, to be honest, only childbirth has hurt worse.

haven’t been able to lie down without pain or sit up without pain or walk across the house without pain. Everything hurts and nothing is comfortable. There has been no relief. I am incapable of bending or reaching or, really, doing anything past blinking. I’m not sure that that doesn’t hurt, too. I can’t cook or clean or do more than switch the TV channels. Day after day, I have sat there while my house crumbles around my ears. 

have learned how to do a lot with my feet. When I was young, my brother used to make fun of what he called my “prehensile toes.” That ability has stood me in good stead now. I can pick up an infinite number of things with my toes. Towels, dirty clothes, socks the dog dragged off to her bed. I can open and close cabinet drawers or lower the dishwasher door and also pull out the rolling tray.

I have become an expert in back pain. I have tried every pain medication in the cabinet twice and discovered migraine medicine works best. Good for your head or your back. I know when to switch from one pain-relieving gel to another and how to reapply the various back pain patches. I have a regimen for ice packs and the heating pad.

More importantly, I have had hours and hours to occupy my brain while I practice becoming inanimate and have spent a great deal of my time in prayer and worship. Here are two things I can do without causing myself more discomfort. I can pray for my friends, for the nation, for my future, and I can praise God for what He’s done in me to date. Which is a lot. 

Prayer and praise are two halves of a whole. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, it says, “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” It is no random coincidence that “pray without ceasing” is sandwiched between rejoicing and giving thanks. When we approach prayer with praise on our lips, then our complaints fade away. Our praise replaces what we would say with what we SHOULD say.

Psalm 34:1 tells us this as well. The psalmist sang, “I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” We “pray without ceasing, and we “praise continually.” These are things we do “at all times.” When our back hurts, for instance, and we can’t move without weeping.

My praises have kept me at peace. This, too, is a promise of the Scripture. In two places, the Word of God says to “seek peace.” Something we must seek is only obtainable through persistence. (Ps 34:14; 1Pe 3:11) We have peace because we choose to be at peace, to spend our words talking to our heavenly Father instead of cursing men. To pray for others, instead of focusing on ourselves.

Colossians 3:15 makes this fully clear. It says, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” You let peace rule AND be thankful, we are told. We must do both or we will forfeit both.

I will praise my way to complete health. This is God’s will for me. I will sing with the psalmist of the goodness of God and see the Holy Spirit work in me. I will grow in inward strength as I grow in outward strength and come out the other side of this bump in the road with my hands lifted, my heart light, and the Word of God on my lips. Won’t you join me?

“O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.” (Psalms 34:3)

“Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalms 103:1-5)

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Rylie Shepherd’s come home to Richland, Colton Ryder, and a heart full of pain. 

The Quarter

About the Author:

Suzanne D. WilliamsBest-selling author, Suzanne D. Williams, is a native Floridian, wife, mother, and photographer. She is the author of both nonfiction and fiction books. She writes devotionals and instructional articles for various blogs. She also does graphic design for self-publishing authors. She is co-founder of THE EDGE.

To learn more about what she’s doing and check out her extensive catalog of stories, visit www.feelgoodromance.com or www.suzannedwilliams.com or link with her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/suzannedwilliamsauthor or on Twitter at @SDWAuthor.

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