08/17

Persistent Prayer

“… men always ought to pray and not lose heart…” Luke 18:1

Faith never gives up. In Luke 18:1-8 Jesus was speaking to His disciples about His return to the earth. He tells a story about a widow who wanted justice from an adversary. She approached a judge who did not honor God, nor did he have much respect for others; however, because of the widow’s persistence, he avenged her. Jesus told the disciples that if an unjust judge would avenge a widow based on her persistent approach, then their just God will avenge His people, even though He bears long with them. Not only does He avenge them, but Jesus told them that He would do so speedily. At the end of the parable Christ asks, When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” Will the Jews really cry out for God in the day of their trouble? I believe we can learn from this parable. Even in times of adversity, Jesus says we should never lose heart, but continue to go before God in prayer.

In Galatians 6:9, the Apostle Paul encourages the believers not to lose heart, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Another translation says, “if we do not faint.” The Greek word means “to let go of, to unloose” or to “relax.” In prayer, God wants us to grip onto God and not let go. Our grip on God is not to weaken through doubt, but to remain strong in faith, knowing He is our answer. One of my favorite verses is Deuteronomy 30:20 where it says, “cling to Him, for He is your life…” The word for cling is also used in Genesis 2:24 when it says that a man should leave his parents and cleave to His wife. It means to join, to adhere, to hold onto, and to not let go.

What if you don’t receive the answer you want in the timing that you want it? What if you face difficulty or an adversary? What if your promise demands a sacrifice? Living a life of faith is living a life of obedient surrender to the Lord, even when times are tough, even when there is an enemy to fight. God gives us His grace to empower us to overcome, to overtake, and to WIN. Persistent prayer is a prayer of faith – a prayer of believing, not begging. The persistent widow in Jesus’ parable was fighting for her rights, believing she would get them. She didn’t give up because she knew they belonged to her. God isn’t withholding anything from you. Know what He has promised you, dig your feet in, and be persistent in faith.

Application: God gives power to the weak and increases their strength (Isaiah 40:31). If you have become complacent or callous to God’s promise, you have let go of your grip on God, the promise giver. Turn to Him and ask Him to strengthen your faith, and choose to believe Him.

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