READ: 1 Thes 5:16-18
REJOICE ALWAYS: It is important when seeking God's will for particular aspects of our lives that we hold fast to the three key principles. The first of these is that we rejoice (v16). Let's tell God how thrilled we are by who He is and by what He has done, both for us and for others.
ALWAYS: This is the other part of the command to rejoice (v16). Let's be open with each other about any areas in our lives where we find rejoicing to be something of a challenge. Let's pray so that we can each see a breakthrough.
PRAY: It may seem strange to pray about praying but it is a good opportunity to affirm our commitment to bringing everything to the Lord. It is amazing how easy it is to face situations and do everything but pray so let's ask the Lord for grace to put this command (v17) into practice.
WITHOUT CEASING: This is the statement which accompanies the "prayer command" (v17). It is obviously not a command to completely withdraw from normal life - too many Bible verses tell us to be involved as "salt and light" for that to be the case. It has to do with our attitude. Let's pray that we will stay "switched on" to the Lord in every situation, "making our requests known" to Him.
GIVE THANKS: This is the third of these interlinked commands. It is no less important than the other two. Sometimes giving thanks (v18) can be a real challenge. It would be good if we think of one thing that it is easy to give thanks for then one thing for which we know we should be grateful yet is presenting us with more of a challenge. Let's then give thanks equally sincerely for both.
IN EVERYTHING: Some Bible commentators like to point out that it says "in everything" (v18) rather than "for everything". In practice the statements can seem equally challenging. Let's pray that we will be consistently grateful.