16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22 reject every kind of evil. 23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. 25 Brothers and sisters, pray for us. — 1 Thess. 5:16-25 NIV
If we rejoice all the time, pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances, that doesn’t leave us any time to be idle. Of course, we can’t literally do these things all the time, but we can develop habits that will allow us to spend more time actually doing these things. We can take all of our thoughts captive and bring them into submission under Jesus Christ. .
5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.– 2 Cor. 10:5 NIV
When we find our thoughts wandering into areas that lead us into temptation, doubt and worry, we need to immediately bring them back into submission. If we do this, then we will always have an attitude of gratitude. We will always be in an attitude of prayer regardless of what we are doing physically. We are not bound by our circumstances or feelings, but by our knowledge of Jesus Christ and who we are in Him. When we feel those little nudges of the Holy Spirit, we will be ready to act on them and do what God is asking us to do minute by minute. We will also find that our days are full of peace and joy as we are being sanctified daily by the Holy Spirit. We cannot do this in the flesh, God knows that. But the God that called us to repentance is able and He is faithful to finish what He has started in our lives. We are saved by grace through faith and we must live our daily lives walking by faith.