“THE PERSISTENCE OF PRAYER ”
“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” (Luke 18:1)
Prayer is offering up petitions and supplications to the Almighty God, Creator of the heavens and the earth. Over and over again, we are instructed in the Scriptures to pray. Prayer takes you into the presence of God, because you are acknowledging His person and depending upon His power. Paul exhorted the Thessalonians to “pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17). He further instructed the young preacher, Timothy, to exhort those Christians that he was to minister to about their individual prayer life. “I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting” (I Timothy 2:8). A Christian who prays much is obviously “in touch” with the Lord and has a clearer understanding of what God expects from him in this life.
The Lord Jesus Christ gave many examples of the importance of prayer, i.e. talking to God about specific needs in a person’s life. He uses a vivid portrayal of a woman who has a pressing need in her life. She had an adversary, an enemy, who had in some way afflicted her. Although we do not know what was done to her, we know what she did. She persistently appeared before a rather hard judge and petitioned her cause and declared her need. Notice what Jesus said in the parable, “and the Lord said, hear what the unjust judge saith.” In the previous verse, the judge had said that he would grant her desires because she was “wearing him out” (weary me). But notice how our Savior portrays God in the matter of persistent prayer. He says in Luke 18:7, “And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?”
Folks, we have a God who loves us and hears us. Many times when He does not answer immediately, we get discouraged and assume He does not care. Do not assume—sometimes it is only a delay, not a denial of your request. Remember our opening text Luke 18:1, “...men ought always to pray and not to faint.” Do not quit praying—God is listening!
Pastor H. Preston Parker