The Christian’s cell phone
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
How can we pray without ceasing? Do we have to stop all of our other activities and kneel down and spend the rest of our lives doing nothing but praying?
If you are someplace where there are a lot of people you will probably see some of them demonstrating how to obey this command. They are talking on a cell phone while going about their regular activities. You could say that when we were saved God gave each of us a cell phone that we could use to keep in touch with him all of the time no matter what else we might be doing.
This cell phone has many advantages over manmade phones. It doesn’t cost us anything to use. It doesn’t require batteries so we will never run out of power. Because God is omnipresent we can use it anywhere. It can’t be broken, lost, or stolen. It will never become obsolete because someone invents a better one.
The only thing that can block our access to God is sin. Whenever we sin our phone will be useless until we restore our service by confessing our sin and receiving forgiveness.
There will be times when we must focus our attention on other things so we can’t always be consciously talking to God. That isn’t a problem because communication with God involves listening as well as talking. (We should listen more than we talk; what God says to us is more important than what we say to him.) When someone speaks to us we hear him even if our attention is focused on something else; if we spend time communicating with God we will become so spiritually sensitive that we can hear him speak to us even when we are not consciously listening to him.
Cell phones can cause problems by distracting their users from what is going on around them. When we use our spiritual cell phone we are communicating with the one who has perfect knowledge of our circumstance and what we are doing. Instead of distracting us from our surroundings it will make us more aware of them. We are constantly surrounded by people who are in need; if we spend time in touch with God he will make us aware of those needs and show us what we can do to meet them.
The cell phone is a recent invention so in the past it was not possible to use it as an analogy for prayer but the concept of constantly communicating with God is not new. In the 17th century a monk named Brother Lawrence wrote an excellent book on this subject called The Practice of the Presence of God. I will end this post with a quote from that book.
To form a habit of conversing with GOD continually, and referring all we do to Him, we must at first apply to Him with some diligence: but after a little care we should find His love inwardly excite us to it without any difficulty.