Persistent Prayer Part 2
In the Gospel According to Luke, Jesus told a parable about a widow who asked an unjust judge for justice. This woman wearied this unjust judge until she got her need met. This parable teaches us that this judge feared neither God nor man, but it was this woman’s persistence that caused him to respond to her. This is the point Jesus was making – to be persistent in prayer.
Christ spoke with this intent, to teach us that men ought always to pray and not to faint. Prayer gives us spiritual strength against the plans of the enemy. When I lived in Minneapolis, I had a saying on my bedroom door: ‘Seven prayerless days makes one weak.’ The unjust judge had no concern for the needs of the poor widow. In the same sense, the world is unable to meet the spiritual needs of the Christian. Looking only to the world to meet your needs will weaken your relationship with your Heavenly Father, and you will run the risk of falling under the enemy’s deception. Many disasters can be avoided if we keep Jesus at the helm of our Christian journey through the Word and with prayer.
Some Christians want an immediate ‘yes’ answer to their prayers or they just give up, but this is not how God always answers our prayers. When we pray God hears us and is already at work, and He answers in three ways: Yes; No; or Wait, something better is coming if you are patient. If you can hear ‘Yes’ or even ‘No’, why is God’s ‘Wait’ so hard to hear? Delay does not mean denial! Our prayers are seeds that we plant in the heart of God like a farmer planting seeds for the harvest. "The farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth and has long patience for it” (James 5:7). Maybe we should ask God for patience when we bring our requests to Him in prayer.
“And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bears long with them?” (Luke 18:7 NIV) Shall not God – not that unprincipled judge but the infinitely righteous ‘Judge of all the earth’ - avenge (redeem from oppression) His own elect? The elect are not like this poor widow in the eye of that selfish wretch, the object of indifference and contempt, but the elect are dear to God as the apple of His eye (Zech. 2:8). The elect are those whose every cry enters into the ears of the Lord of Hosts (James 5:4); and how much more their continual and steadfast cries, though He bears long with them? YOU ARE GOD’S ELECT! Be persistent in your prayers to Him, and He will strengthen you and guide you into His will.