Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
– Romans 12:12
Well, that command is pretty straightforward, isn’t it?
That one verse can really be broken down into what are, if you ask me, the basic principles of steadfast faith:
be hopeful, be patient, be constant.
And yet, that last one is so easy to overlook. At least, it is for me.
Maybe it’s because I am admittedly still unsteady when it comes to my practices. Maybe it’s just a general unsteadiness in life. Maybe it’s the inherent unsteadiness of human nature. Whatever it is, being constant is one of my biggest trials, and what I have to work towards the most when it comes to maintaining and flourishing my relationship with God.
It’s just so easy to only rely on the Lord when it’s convenient, or when I can glorify His blessings. It’s so much easier to be able to say, “Yeah, the Lord is so great because he’s provided so well with this, and that, and this.” Of course I want the relationship to remain happy and carefree and easy – that’s not even unique to my relationship with God, that’s just how I’d like every relationship to be. I don’t think I’m entirely alone in that wish. Right?
(See, I’m easily hopeful.)
Jokes aside, consistency is something that I am working on and, perhaps a tad ironically, something I pray about often. I pray that I can do just that – pray – with unwavering dedication and faith. I pray that I come to not only ask for things I want or need or think I deserve, but that I ask for the simplicity of knowing the Lord’s presence. I pray that I can find the courage to pray even in the darkest times, when I feel the most alone, not just in the happy times where I can feel God’s presence so strongly.
A relationship with the Lord is hardly one of convenience. It’s one that takes work and effort, just like any other relationship we come across on earth. Where would I be if I wasn’t constant with my friends, or my family? (Actually, don’t answer that. Life has gotten a little too real lately and I’ve seen exactly what happens when that’s the case.)
Beyond just being something that we should be doing for the sake of strengthening our relationship with God, being consistent is something we are quite literally commanded to do.
Pray without ceasing,
– 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
– Jeremiah 33:3
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
– Colossians 4:2
So today, I pray that we can all be consistent and steadfast and open. I pray for my own consistency. I pray that any relationship with the Lord that might be wavering finds that faith and constant steadfastness again.
I pray that we can all be, exist, love, and know without ceasing.