“Then Jesus spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.”
“Men always ought to pray and not lose heart” – don’t give up, don’t let the enemy convince you that your Heavenly Father is not interested.
Patient, persistent and persevering prayer is critical in your walk of faith.
Ben Patterson, in Deepening Your Conversation With God, says the following: “Products of a culture of instant gratification, we give up if we don’t see a fairly quick response to our prayers. But praying, like so many matters of the kingdom of God, is like farming. Imagine a farmer turning the soil, adding fertilizer, planting seeds, sprinkling a little water – then standing over the spot for a few hours, waiting for something to happen, and when no shoot comes up, walking away, shaking his head and saying, ‘Well, I guess that didn’t work.’ Farmers know better. Crops take persistent cultivation and time to yield a harvest. Like good farming, good praying demands of us a quality of character Friedrich Nietzsche called ‘ a long obedience in the same direction.'”
“A long obedience in the same direction.”
I love that!
I have often heard it said that when you think God is doing nothing, that is when he is doing the most. Remember, He has to work through us most of the time to carry out His work. When we can’t see what He is doing it is usually because He is putting all the pieces together for us.
I have a great illustration to share with you.
When my husband, David, was in seminary we were definitely living by faith. We had a three year old, four year old and a newborn. It was not unusual for us to get down to $1.50 in the bank. One day I complained, “Lord, I know you are going to come through for us – You always do – but why does it always have to be at the last minute?!”
I received a prompt reply.
“Nan, I am not the one who is late. I have to work through my people. How many times have I asked you to take some groceries to your neighbor or give someone $25.00 to which you replied, ‘Yes, Lord.’ You were excited to give but you let other things get in the way…it’s raining, the kids are napping, I can’t get there today so I’ll do it tomorrow. In the meantime, your friend is asking ME for a miracle that YOU are going to supply and three days later you finally get around to doing what I asked of you. You were part of the answered prayer that my child so desperately needed.”
Ewww…It makes sense doesn’t it?
Romans 12:12 reads, “…rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer.”
Colossians 4:2, “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.”
The Father hears us when we cry out to Him. Trust that. Know that. And He WILL respond. Just remember that He has to work through us. Remember also that often there are battles in the heavenlies that we know not of. Satan wants to thwart our walk with God. He wants to stop God’s intervention in our lives. And he will put up a good fight.
“Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world!”
As our elders have taught us, “You’ve just got to pray it through!”
“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” (James 5:16, The New Living Translation)
Lord, You are teaching me so much about prayer. Thank You for that. We underestimate the power of prayer and I think we try to confine it to our human understanding when it is SO much more. Open our eyes that we might see and comprehend the vast riches that prayer affords – not material riches, but spiritual riches, a union with Almighty God. You are precious Lord. We love You and desire to know You more.