PERSISTENCE IN PRAYER (NEVER GIVE UP!)
Saturday, 11 August 2018
Luke 18 : 1-14
“Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart ….” -Luke 18:1
Together with our key verse today, I would like to quote George Mueller’s encouraging statement on ‘never give up’! “I live in the spirit of prayer. I pray as I walk about, when I lie down and when I rise up. And the answers are always coming. Thousands and tens of thousands of times have my prayers been answered. When once I am persuaded that a thing is right and for the glory of God, I go on praying for it until the answer comes.”
For most people, prayer isn’t so attractive when it doesn’t yield quick results. When we don’t see quick answers, we immediately think we may be doing something wrong or it doesn’t please God. Then we tend to give up or even question God. But we are absolutely wrong to think this way. Most of us are short-sighted when we look for a quick answer. But the truth is God hears every prayer, but the answer is in His way and in His timing. In Luke 18:1-5, Jesus uses the parable of the widow who never gave up, to teach us about prayer. No matter who we are, if we are going to reach the world for Christ we should have immovable faith that prays with persistence. It’s part of our calling as intercessors to persist!
We may come across some people who might get the mountain-top experiences; but they must have surely paid a heavy price of persistent prayer. Every work that we do includes endurance (hardship) and persistence. There can be dry periods of wilderness when we think of endurance especially when it comes to spiritual matters. We see a dry Intertestamental period of 400 years when God was silent. During these 400 years before Jesus, God was silent in the sense that He did not give a prophetic word to His people, but He was actively carrying out His plan to deliver a Messiah for all people!
There are times when we feel we’ve prayed countless times without an answer. It takes deeper commitment of faith and patience to inherit the promises of God. Hebrews 6:11-12: “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Normally, the greater the purpose, the greater the faith and patience required!
Another aspect is that when we are persistent in prayer, we cover every aspect of the need. The Holy Spirit enables us to see the big perspective from its lowest level. We don’t forget the prayer; hence we carry it with us all the while— even our spirit will be groaning inside of us always knocking at heaven’s door!
We can take some of Apostle Paul’s prayers as the model to see how persistent he was concerning his desire in building and strengthening the church. To the Church in Colossae Paul wrote: “For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding...” (Col.1:9) To the Church in Thessalonica: “For what thanks can we render to God for you, for all the joy with which we rejoice for your sake before our God, night and day praying exceedingly that we may see your face and perfect what is lacking in your faith?" (1Thess. 3:9-10).
One thing we must understand that our prayers are not going to be in vain. Keep on knocking on heaven’s door— God not only hears but He answers our persistent prayer! May God take all the glory and honour while we pray in Jesus name!
Application in Life: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Cor. 15:58
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