We search for God with all our heart when we pray without ceasing. We pray without ceasing when we look for the good in all we encounter and try to draw it forth.
To pray without ceasing does not mean that we constantly think about God or that we keep the word, “God! God!” on our lips.
We pray without ceasing when we habitually meet whatever comes to us with faith and with love, with a mind to draw from the event all that it has to give, with a willingness to do whatever has to be done to make the most and the best of it.
We pray without ceasing when we refer the events of life to God.
We do this not so much by having times to pray – though we need these – as by acting all the time, as much as we are able, with courage, faith, love, power, and intelligence. We do this not so much by speaking words as by our inward attitude.
To pray without ceasing is to keep our heart attuned to what God means in life.
God is. Infinite, perfect, absolute. Beyond all that we can say of God.
But in the life of human beings, God is those human qualities which are most Godlike.
God is faith… courage… love… intelligence… energy… order.
Faith may be falling on our knees, but it is more likely to be standing firm or walking on. It may be waiting. It may be working. It may be daring to step out on uneasy waters. It may be just doing to step out.
Courage may be making courageous affirmations about life, but it is more likely to be going forward when we would rather have gone back. Courage may be standing still when we would rather have run away. Courage may be running away when we would rather have stood firm.
Love may be throwing ourselves at the feet of the Lord devotedly, but love may also be giving a gift we would rather have kept for ourselves. Love may be speaking a longed-for word. Love may be withholding a word we should not speak. Love may be binding up wounds, sometimes wounds we cause. Love may be setting someone free – sometimes someone we would like to bind us. Love may be putting another’s good ahead of our own. Love may be feeling how others feel. Love may be living with others and living for others.
Intelligence may be thinking about God. But intelligence may just be thinking clearly. Intelligence may be quiet listening. Intelligence may be original insight. Intelligence may be seeing through facts to the truth.
Laughter may be prayer. So may tears.
To shoulder a heavy load with a light heart is to meet things with God. To be deeply moved by the need of another human being, by noble action, by beauty, or truth – this is to be aware of God.
Standing still may be a prayer. So, too, may action.
One of the highest forms of prayer is work. Give yourself to a creative purpose. Let your mind and hands be absorbed in bringing forth some good thing – a field of wheat, or a poem, or a machine – and you draw very close to God.
God is the creative spirit. When you give yourself to the working of that Spirit, you are one with God.
To pray without ceasing is to put God in charge of your life. It is to look for direction. It is to expect inspiration.
It is to feel that you are serving the ends and purposes of life more than your own ends, and to make your own ends – as much as you can – life’s ends.
It is, in a sense, to have one prayer always in your mind:
“Here am I, God – Life, Love, Humankind – use me.”
(From THE UNITY BOOK, PRAYER: THE MASTER KEY)