“And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ” (Acts 5:42).
Paul the apostle is admired by many and rightly so, for his example is such that he could say: "Brethren, be followers together of me" (Philippians 3:17). There is an intensity about Paul's life that finds its expression in his letters in the phrase, "without ceasing." One could say "without ceasing" described both his preaching and his persecutors' torment. When we study the occurrences of this phrase, an important truth emerges about the basis of Paul's ministry.
"I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day" (II Timothy 1:3). "Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers" (Ephesians 1:15,16). "For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding" (Colossians 1:9). "For God is my witness . . . That without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers" (Romans 1:9). Three times in Thessalonians Paul speaks of this ceaseless prayer life-twice in reference to his own prayers (I Thessalonians 1:3; 2:13), and then in reference to ours: "Pray without ceasing" (I Thessalonians 5:17). Paul had learned the lesson of Luke 18:1: "And He spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint." When Paul pleaded, "Brethren, pray for us" (I Thessalonians 5:25), he had asked for hard work and sacrifice (for that is what earnest prayer entails), and he had asked for that which is the most important. CJH