Luke 18:1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
Like many other Christians, I pray all through the day. Sometimes I pray when I’m driving my car; at other times I pray when I’m sitting at my desk, or lying on my bed. My thoughts and prayers cover all sorts of subjects, people, issues, and requests. And whenever I’m going through a difficult time, or perhaps a family member is, or even a church member, I pray continually for help, healing, and wholeness.
I try to be persistent in what I pray. If a friend of mine is really ill or going through a hard time, I constantly ask God for mercy and grace, guidance and goodness to come into that person’s life. I try not to give up, not because I seek to pester God with my requests, but because I know that God has the power, grace, and love to bring about healing, restoration, rescue, and renewal. Prayer is both a great privilege, as well as a powerful gift, so I really try hard to focus on what I am actually asking God to do.
All of my prayers have been answered. Sometimes the answer is “Yes.” At other times, the answer can be “No,” but usually the answer is “Not now, not yet.” So I continue to pray thankfully, faithfully, and persistently. It doesn't make me holy or saintly; instead it keeps me connected to God and seeking His guidance. It makes me realize that I am a creature and He is Creator; I am a servant and He is my King.
Today’s parable of the persistent widow (Luke 18:1-8) was told by Jesus so that His followers would continue to use prayer as the vehicle of their requests, as well as the channel of their direct connection to God. Prayer keeps our faith activated, as well as joining our spirits to Jesus. Persistent and sincere prayer maintains our hope for healing and sustains our strength in Christ.
Questions for reflection: How often do I pray? What do I frequently pray to God? How does God answer my prayers? How do I respond to His decisions?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for teaching us how to pray faithfully and effectively. Keep us connected to You through the spiritual experience of focused prayer. Be with us and bless us this day. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to ask questions or make comments about today’s message, please send him an email to Traqair@aol.com.
Today’s image is one of John’s new woodcut type drawings called “Night Lights.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click on this link: Lights.