Tim Clinton, Ed.D.
“Pray without ceasing, Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
— 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 NIV
“If you want that splendid power in prayer, you must remain in loving, living, lasting, conscious, practical, abiding union with the Lord Jesus Christ.”
— Charles H. Spurgeon
I have heard a few prayers in my life that seemed to go on forever. You? Ugh. But others, every word seemed so right. Time stood still. They were payers that lingered after the last Amen. You could feel them. You could hear them over and over again. More than words, they were God-breathed. That’s the key to powerful prayer.
Martin Luther said, “The fewer words, the better prayer.” It’s spirit. It’s heart. It’s thought. Sometimes no matter what position your body is in your soul is on its knees. That is unceasing prayer. God loves it. You know why? Because He’s on your mind and that’s the first step to getting your heart right – and by the way, living in His will.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18). Think that way. Pray that way.
When you pray do you ever feel like your words are bouncing off the ceiling, not going anywhere? Like your voice is the only one you can hear and the heavens are silent? If you’ve felt this way, take heart. The Apostle Paul said, “…praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18 NKJ). Jesus said “…that men always ought to pray and not lose heart”. (Luke 18:1 NKJ) The implication of that statement is that some prayers are going to require perseverance. Mark Batterson wrote, “Bold prayers honor God, and God honors bold prayers. God isn’t offended by your biggest dreams or boldest prayers. He is offended by anything less. If your prayers aren’t impossible to you, they are insulting to God…. Most of us don’t get what we want because we quit praying. We give up too easily. We give up too soon.”
Be steadfast in your prayers; walk in step with the Spirit and learn His voice as He speaks to you. Remember, James 5:16 says, “…The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” Your prayers make a difference. They are affecting outcomes. Virtually all the giants of the faith—the Moodys and Wesleys and the like, had one thing in common. They were men of persevering prayer.
Tim Clinton, Ed.D., LPC, LMFT (The College of William and Mary) is President of the nearly 50,000-member American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC), the largest and most diverse Christian counseling association in the world. He is Professor of Counseling and Pastoral Care, and Executive Director of the Center for Counseling and Family Studies at Liberty University. Licensed in Virginia as both a Professional Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist, Tim now spends a majority of his time working with Christian leaders and professional athletes. He is recognized as a world leader in faith and mental health issues and has authored over 20 books including Breakthrough: When to Give In, When to Push Back. Most importantly, Tim has been married 36 years to his wife Julie and together they have two children, Megan, who is married to Ben Allison and is practicing medicine in dermatology, and Zach, who plays baseball at Liberty University. In his free time, you’ll find him outdoors or at a game with family and friends.