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"Insights" from the New Testament Greek

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 "Insights" from the New Testament Greek

By Bob Jones, Northside Bible Church, Jacksonville Florida

"Pray without ceasing", 1 Thess. 5:17

  In Chapter 5 of the Book of 1st Thessalonians, the subject is how we are to act as we see the world being prepared for the return of Jesus, and as we anticipate meeting Him "in the air". Starting in verse 11, Paul gives us 17 "imperatives", or things that we are "commanded" to do, as we await the return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

  In verse 17, we are commanded to "Pray without ceasing". On the surface, this command may sound so impossible that we risk reading over it, and placing it in the "Iíll think that one over later" basket. "Without ceasing" is the Present tense, Imperative mood of the Greek word "adialeiptos", pronounced "ad-ee-a-lipí-toce". The Greek word "dialieptos" means to insert a break or an "intermission", as in a play, and the "a" on the front of our word "adialeiptos", means "DO NOT insert a break or an intermission" in our praying to God.

  I am continually disappointed by the Christian songs we sing and the sermons I hear that portray God as being "off some where" and we are begging Him to "come to our Church service", "come into us", and "descend on us". We must remember that every child of God is permanently sealed into union with our Lord Jesus Christ and permanently indwelt by the Spirit of God! Romans 8:9 states that if we are not permanently indwelt by the Spirit of God, which is the same as the Spirit of Christ, then we do not belong to Christ at all!

  Someone aptly stated that "If you do not feel as close to God today as you did yesterday, guess who moved"? The Spirit of God never leaves us, it is our own negative will that breaks fellowship with God and that seems to separate us. The word "fellowship" means to share, and to fellowship with God means to "share" Godís life with Him. To insert a "break", or "intermission" in our prayer life is like ignoring our best friend!

  How then can we "pray without ceasing"? I had a good illustration come to mind years ago when I served in the Air National Guard, and maintained aircraft electronic systems. Now and then a large transport aircraft or bomber would land at our base, and I would be tasked to "preflight" its communication systems. The "interphone" system on a large military aircraft allows each crewmember to selectively talk to the other crewmembers. You could just make your selection, and press your microphone switch, and say: "tail gunner to pilot", or "pilot to navigator". But, there was also a position on the interphone control box that said "hot mike", which allowed instant communication, without making a selection, or having to press a switch, and no need to formally address the pilot Ė just talk Ė any time you wanted to.

  One of our goals, as we grow toward Christian maturity, should be for our communication with our loving Heavenly Father to be on "hot mike". We should continually be in a prayerful attitude, talking to Him in every waking hour, sharing the details and needs of our life with Him. We should never "take a break" so long that we feel we must "start over" and formally address Him to get His attention, before He will hear us.

  In John 15:15, Jesus called his disciples no longer servants, but friends. 1 Thess. 5:17 commands us to continually be aware of Godís presence in us, so that we can informally speak to Him as our best friend, knowing that He loves us and hears us.

  Bob Jones