PRAYER: DON’T GIVE UP!
If you pray you are making a statement- you’re telling the world, “I believe there’s a God who hears and answers prayer!” Since God hears and answers prayer, we should never stop praying. Regarding His followers, Jesus taught, “…that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” (Luke 18:1) Greg Laurie, commenting on that verse recently said, “If the Bible gave us no other reason for prayer, that would be reason enough. We should pray because Jesus told us to.” And what did Jesus tell us about prayer? He said to “not lose heart.” In other words, keep praying and don’t give up! Read the passage and notice the number of references to persistence.
“And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?”
This parable is all about one specific and highly important aspect of prayer- persistent prayer!
v.1) – “they ought always to pray”
v.1) “Not lose heart”
v.3) “a widow who kept coming”
v.5) “this widow keeps bothering me”
v.5) “Her continual coming”
v.6) “cry to Him day and night”
When my brother and I were young we saved loose change for years. We finally had enough to buy US Savings Bonds. Buying bonds as a 10 year old, or a six year old, knowing they wouldn’t mature for years felt like losing the money! It took years for the bonds to mature. Still, we did it. Finally, when we were teenagers the bonds matured and we cashed them in. The key to earning more than we started with was simple- we patiently waited for maturity. There’s a similar principle at work when we pray. We persist in prayer even when we don’t receive the answers on our own timetable because we trust the One we are praying to. We believe He knows what’s best in every circumstance – so we persist patiently waiting on God’s timing. Someday the time will be right! Until then, keep praying- don’t give up!
J. Kie Bowman