Pray Without Ceasing

March 11, 2017
by Karen Abbott

Mark 5:5 – Night and day among the tombs and in the hills, he would cry out and cut himself with stones. (NIV)

As I was reading about this demon-filled Gerasene man, who was so possessed by a "legion" of demons that he was cutting himself with stones, I realized that when I was young, I never heard about young people cutting themselves or suffering from anorexia nervosa or bulimia, but now it's commonplace. Even youth suicide is approaching an epidemic. Like the Gerasene man, what despair our youth must be experiencing to resort to such acts of desperation! Obviously worldly things are not meeting their spiritual needs.

So many people today have no knowledge of God. Their souls are completely possessed by worldly things because they don't know that they have the option of reserving room for a relationship with Him. We've lost three generations of church goers — and counting.

In the town where I live, the churches are quite active, but primarily with seniors. There are few youth or children in most of the parishes. Twenty years from now, these churches will have died off. Who is going to pass the torch, and to whom? Who will minister to our suffering young people?

The only answer that I can see is prayer. For example, Nehemiah, upon hearing news of the state of the remnant of his people in Israel, wept and then prayed day and night. As in the present day, there seemed nothing that one person could do — but Nehemiah prayed.

Nehemiah 1:4 – When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. (NIV)

As stated in the hymn, The day Thou gavest, Lord, is ended by John Ellerton, God's church is praying day and night.

    We thank Thee that Thy church, unsleeping,
    While earth rolls onward into light,
    Through all the world her watch is keeping,
    And rests not now by day or night.

    As o'er each continent and island
    The dawn leads on another day,
    The voice of prayer is never silent,
    Nor dies the strain of praise away.

    The sun that bids us rest is waking
    Our brethren 'neath the western sky,
    And hour by hour fresh lips are making
    Thy wondrous doings heard on high.

Take heart. God is in control, despite the grim appearance of our present world. The future will unfold according to His plan, and somehow, He will bring it to its predestined end. Our job is to do what we can to spread the gospel — but especially, to pray.

Prayer: Lord God, we take comfort in knowing that You are in control of this world and that ultimately, things will work according to Your plan. Thank You for Your faithfulness to us. Help us to be faithful to You as we pray for Your world. In Jesus' name, we ask it. Amen.

About the author:

Karen Abbott <kkabbott@sympatico.ca>
Renfrew, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks Karen. We all need this reminder.


    Thanks Karen for the thought-provoking message.


    You connected to today’s world with great wisdom in this devotional.


    Thanks, Karen, for your devotion today. We should never underestimate the power of prayer!


    Amen! Karen.
    Thanks for writing to us.
    I do pray and teach others when I may.


    Thank you, Karen. It is so very easy now to slip into despair, when there’s no good news ~ only lies day after day. These words of encouragement and reminder that God is in control are just what I needed!


    Dear Karen,
    The only answer that I can see is prayer. Our job is to do what we can to spread the gospel – but especially, to pray.
    Thank you for your devotional.
    Yes, pray.
    Keep writing.


    Thank you for an excellent devotion. Please write again. I agree completely with what you say, Karen but when I approached my Church Board about stopping the bleeding
    (losing members and young people) few, if any, were concerned.
    Yet most of our Churches will be empty in 10 years.


    I believe God has a plan for the church and we should not try to decide the future. Trust in God and pray for guidance for all people. Great devotional Karen.


    Good for you Karen!


    Karen, Thank you for your thoughts and encouragement.

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