Persevering in Prayer


In Luke 18, Jesus Christ told his disciples a story that demonstrates the importance of persevering in prayer and never giving up. All of us, as God’s children, should be praying people. We should understand that prayer is communication to Heavenly Father, and as such, it is a blessed opportunity to both speak to Him and to hear Him speak to us.  It is not only our privilege and honor, but it is our duty to pray, and it should never, under any circumstances, be neglected. The sad truth of our day is that many do neglect and reject the blessed spiritual practice of prayer. There are also folks who have made prayer an important part of their lives, but still do not do it nearly as much as they need to. Many Christians fit into the latter category. The story told by Jesus in Luke 18 should serve as a reminder for us to persevere in prayer and hopefully inspire us to increase our commitment to it.

He begins his story by telling us about a judge in a certain city who didn’t reverence God and didn’t care about people either. It doesn’t take much to ascertain that this judge didn’t have a good character.  He wasn’t concerned about his reputation and had no notion of what it meant to be honorable. Yet, he had a position of power and influence. There are many in the public sphere of our day that fit this description.  Jesus tells us in Luke 18:3 (NLT) that a widow living in the city came to see this judge repeatedly, saying, Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’

It’s important for us to know a little bit about the context of this. It will help us to understand what the widow woman was up against. In earlier biblical periods, an unmarried woman past a certain age was looked upon as being a burden on her family. She could not earn a living for herself, and if no man wanted to marry her, she would remain in her parent’s household, where she would be cared for by her father. So being married was a very big deal, and it was considered a great blessing by women living during this period. If a woman’s husband died and made her a widow, it was customary for the dead husband’s brother to take the widow as his wife or one of his wives. This would continue until there were no brothers left, or the widow, herself, passed away.

The backdrop for the widow in the story Jesus told was bleak. We are left to consider that her dead husband didn’t have any brothers for her to marry, and this places a little more urgency on her desire to get justice. Her place in society was not high, so she was really pushing it to pester the judge in the way that she did. In her mind, she must have figured she had no other choice. She had to be persistent with the judge. Despite his uncompassionate and nonchalant attitude, she had to keep asking, keep knocking, and keep seeking. This signaled not only her commitment to persevere, but her belief that her efforts would pay-off.

Luke 18:4-8(NLT), Jesus Christ tells us:
“4 The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, 5 but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’”

6 Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. 7 Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man[a] returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”

So often people complain about not hearing from God with answers to their prayers. Heavenly Father always hears us, and He is always ready, willing, and able to help us. There is not one time that we will pray to our Heavenly Father that He does not hear us. 1Peter 5:7(NLT) tells us, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” Jesus Christ also tells us in Matthew 11:28 to bring all our burdens to him because he is our burden-bearer. We are to bring our cares to God and tell Him about what’s going on through prayer.

He knows what we’re going through. Jesus informed us in Matthew 6:8 that God knows what we’re going to ask even before we bring it to Him, but He still requires us to ask. The action of asking represents our comprehension and understanding of who God is. He’s the One True God. He’s Alpha and Omega. He’s all-powerful, all-knowing, everywhere present, and sovereign in every way. Hebrews 11:6 tells us that our faith in Him is a must, because we can’t please Him without having faith in who He is and what He will do for His children.

In Matthew 7:7 (NLT), Jesus Christ instructs us to “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” Like the persistent widow, we are to put forth an unwavering effort of persistence in prayer to back our faith. It is a joy to pray when we have faith and confidence in Heavenly Father, because we understand that our prayers are invitations for Him to intervene in our situations, and in the lives of those we’re praying for. 1Thessalonians 5:16-18(NLT), encourages us to “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” It is God’s Will that we persevere in prayer, and make it a continual practice, because this is how we demonstrate our faith and gratitude for God’s overflowing provision and love. ■

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

“Persevere in Prayer ” by JMack. 4theChristianMan.Com© 2018. All rights reserved. All praise and honor to God through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

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