Rejoice, pray, give thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. " - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

After months of preparation I am done with a very big test. I'm happy as can be, although I feel pretty terrible about how I did. The nice thing is I wont find out my grade until around Christmas, so I have nearly a month to just enjoy being done and not have to worry about how I did.

Right now rejoicing and giving thanks are pretty easy to do. Life is good knowing I can relax about the test. But, to be honest, praying is quite a bit easier when life is harder.

I just think its interesting that we're called to rejoice, give thanks, AND pray in the same breath. Our lives typically exemplify praying a whole bunch when we're in need and then forgetting about how blessed we are when we are blessed. I've worked hard over they years to get better about giving thanks in all situations, but I don't find myself praying much other than a generic "Thank you God."

Lately I've been working on praying for my friends. I've been better about it but still have a long ways to go. Just because life is hunky dory for me doesn't mean life is great for everyone. Keeping our fellow believers in our prayers is far more important than we remember.

Our friends are lost and unsaved, imprisoned for sharing the gospel (yes - even today), sick, dying, lonely, broken, disheartened, and separated from friends and family. And this is just a start. Our lives may be great, but there are always those out there in need of prayer.

Rejoice - whether your lot is good or bad. Give thanks - for you have much to give thanks for even if life seems miserable. And pray without ceasing - no matter how much you think there is nothing to pray about.

Rejoicing is prayer. Thankfulness is prayer. And prayer is about rejoicing, thanking, adoring, confessing, and asking for things. None of these things alone.

This is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.