Little Words – Big Meanings

1 Thessalonians 5:17

pray without ceasing,

  • The Gettysburg Address contains 272 words and was spoken by our sixteenth President, Abraham Lincoln, to dedicate a National Cemetery.  One of the statements in that address was “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.”  What student in school has not heard of the Gettysburg Address or, possibly, had to memorize it.
  • Edward Everett, a great orator of that day spoke before Lincoln and later wrote “I should be glad if I came as near to the central idea in two hours as you did in two minutes.”
  • The Lord’s Prayer contains a mere 67 words, and most Christians can easily pray that prayer.
  • The length or volume of a prayer or statement of scripture does not necessarily indicate the meaning or the intent of that prayer or statement. 

I Kings 18:20-41 – “So Ahab sent for all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together on Mount Carmel.  And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word. Then Elijah said to the people, “I alone am left a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.  Therefore let them give us two bulls; and let them choose one bull for themselves, cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other bull, and lay it on the wood, but put no fire under it.  Then you call on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD; and the God who answers by fire, He is God.”  So all the people answered and said, “It is well spoken.” Now Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one bull for yourselves and prepare it first, for you are many; and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under it.”  

So they took the bull which was given them, and they prepared it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even till noon, saying, “O Baal, hear us!” But there was no voice; no one answered. Then they leaped about the altar which they had made.  And so it was, at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, “Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened.”  So they cried aloud, and cut themselves, as was their custom, with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them.  And when midday was past, they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice. But there was no voice; no one answered, no one paid attention.

Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me.” So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down.  And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD had come, saying, “Israel shall be your name.”  Then with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD; and he made a trench around the altar large enough to hold two seahs of seed.  And he put the wood in order, cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood, and said, “Fill four water pots with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice and on the wood.”  Then he said, “Do it a second time,” and they did it a second time; and he said, “Do it a third time,” and they did it a third time.  So the water ran all around the altar; and he also filled the trench with water.  And it came to pass, at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near and said,

 “LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that You are God in Israel and I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your word.  Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that You are the LORD God, and that You have turned their hearts back to You again.”   

Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood and the stones and the dust, and it licked up the water that was in the trench.  Now when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, “The LORD, He is God! The LORD, He is God!”  And Elijah said to them, “Seize the prophets of Baal! Do not let one of them escape!” So they seized them; and Elijah brought them down to the Brook Kishon and executed them there. Then Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.”

Our prayers to God do not need to be long, full of big words and “spiritual” words.  Just talk as you would to a good friend.  He wants honesty and is not impressed with false piety.  

  • In this famous story that shows the mighty power of God we find a perfect example of few words and great manifestation of results.  Sixty-three words are contained in the KJV of the Bible.  Yet, look at the great results.
  • How about Joshua’s declaration in Joshua 24:15, only 11 words at the end of the verse and quoted by many.  “But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
  • John 11:35 and only nine letters but everyone knows “Jesus wept.”
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:16 is the second shortest verse in the Bible.  “Rejoice evermore.”
  • Other short verses or statements include the following and have profound meanings to all.
  • I Thessalonians 5:17 – “Pray without ceasing.”
  • I Thessalonians 5:19 – “Do not quench the Spirit.”
  • I Thessalonians 5:20 – “Do not despise prophecies.”
  • I Thessalonians 5:25 – “Brethren, pray for us.”
  • Hebrews 13:1 – “Let brotherly love continue.”
  • Matthew 6:11 – “Give us this day our daily bread.”
  • Matthew 7:1 – “Judge not, that you be not judged.”
  • “Follow Me.” was spoken to the rich young ruler and at the call of several disciples.  Christ calls to us also to follow Him.

Rev 3:20 – “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

Little words – bit meanings

“Here I am Lord.  Use me!

Continue in Prayer

Colossians 4:2, 5-6

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.  Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

Not just continue in prayer, but do it “earnestly”.  That word implies to be serious, having a purpose.  To be earnest in prayer is to be steadily pursuing it.  We are to be vigilant in our prayer life.  To be vigilant means to be alert, to do it with a great deal of care.  Thanksgiving is also to be a part of our prayer life.  As we give thanks to God, our hearts are encouraged. 

Without prayer the child of God is weak and will fall into temptation and yield to the pressures of the world. 

How many times do we hear a prayer request from a friend and we say we will pray, then we forget all about it?  Or, we pray one time and move on.

Satan knows your weaknesses and will exploit them especially at times of sickness, loss, depression or discouragement.  If you give him an inch, he will want more.  Do not give in to his deceptive practices.

Know how to treat, speak and behave toward your Christian neighbors.  Then you will be able to tell him/her about Jesus and perhaps even win them to the Lord.

Your speech should always be wholesome and full of truth. 

God’s grace will work through you as you follow the leading of the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 – Pray wthout ceasing.

Ephesians 6:18 – praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 – For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,