October 5, 2017 – Prayer, Part 2: Never Give Up – Pr. Chuck Adams
“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’ ” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”” (Luke 18:1-8 NIV)
This scripture, also known as the “Parable of the Persistent Widow”, speaks of a poor and powerless woman; a widow who seems to have had some injustice done to her and seeks help from a corrupt powerful judge to get some sort of justice. In fact, scripture implies that she nags on him for help and justice. Although this scripture teaches that we should always stand up for the weak and powerless, Jesus’ main focus of teaching here is to “pray always and never lose heart or get discouraged. “We” are the powerless and discouraged woman and strangely, “God” is the corrupt-powerful judge. Regardless of how Jesus relates God in this parable, His message to us is to always rely on prayer, to lean on Him with all things, and to NEVER lose heart with discouragement. Further, trust our Heavenly Daddy with our prayers, requests, etc. knowing that Jesus is NOT saying that God is corrupt. He is saying here in the “story lesson”, the parable, that if persistent “nagging” (prayer) can pay off and gain results with a corrupt human being with very limited power, how much more will the payoff be, the rewards, if we remain persistent in prayer, leaning on and trusting in our God who is extremely just, who has unlimited and infinite power, and who wants to bless His children. I guess the moral to this story is to trust God with all things, to take all requests to Him, to PRAY always and when we are not seeing immediate results and getting a little discouraged, remember that Jesus said “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” (Luke 18:27 NIV)
If you all remember my devotion last week entitled “The Prayer Warrior In Us All”, you might also remember that although I touched on Jesus’s lesson on “how to pray”, I also made mentioned that sometimes God does not respond right away. Sometimes, He wants to teach us patience. I also mentioned that sometimes we may feel that God is not answering our prayer when in fact He is and His answer is simply “No” and that we need to accept it; accept the “no’s” with the yes’s, which brings us to “never losing heart”. When God is using His authority to take His time or to simply say, “no, we need to stand strong, never lose heart, and continually pray with persistence.
One of the most difficult aspects of prayer is staying persistent with it, even when it seems as though God is not answering us. I know that I have struggled with this in so many ways. There were so many prayers said on so many occasions that I have been discouraged thinking that God was not answering my prayers. There were so many prayers that I have felt that go unanswered and I know that the human in me has caused me to be completely discouraged where it’s easy to lose hope. Jesus knows us, our hearts, and our breaking points. He knows that we and our flesh are prone to lose heart which is why He gave us this parable: to teach us to never lose heart and to always. Keep praying as warriors and stay firm with our prayers always trusting in God. Always stay faithful with our prayer life and trust in God with all things, not just some, and allow God’s Glory to shine when His answers shine through.
Lord, there have been so many times that my flesh was weak when I came to you in prayer and I felt that you were not answering quick enough. Lord, teach me patience and perseverance when it comes to My prayer life. Help me to be more like you, Lord. Thank you Lord for being the awesome, loving God that you are. In Jesus Name, Amen