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Ruth Graham: Prayer Without Ceasing

“Don’t stop what you’re doing in order to pray,” Ruth Graham explains.  You can pray on the go, always.


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Praying without ceasing is a verse, of course, that Paul writes. And I think it’s Paul. 


And my mother used to say, “It’s praying on the hoof.” In other words, don’t stop what you’re doing in order to pray. You can pray all daylong while you’re doing things, while you’re in meetings, while you’re driving the car, while you’re cooking the meals. And my mother did that. 

And my father’s prayer was very simple. He was in New York at the crusade in 2004. And they asked him, you know, what was his favorite prayer, and he said the prayer that he prayed the most was, “Lord help me.” Simple. Not fancy. He doesn’t have to get down on his knees or some particular posture. No fancy words. Just, “Lord help me.” 

And I remember asking him, “Daddy, when you get ready to go to Oxford and Cambridge and Harvard and Princeton– all these really fine, intellectual schools– how do you prepare?” Because my father is an intellectual but not like that. And he said, “I pray.” 

So I went to bed that night. I thought, OK, he prayed. And then I began to think, what did he pray? What– what– you know? Is there some formula? 

So the next morning I had coffee with him, and I said, “Daddy, what did you pray?” And he said, I prayed, “Lord help me.” Same prayer. And then he said, “Often I would pray for hours at a time, ‘Holy Spirit, fill me. Holy Spirit, fill me.'” 

And so, again, we make prayer complicated, and it doesn’t have to be. It doesn’t have to be. 


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