Faithful In Prayer

To me, prayer is a mystery.  I find that Jesus’ teachings on prayer help me understand prayer a little bit better, but don’t quite answer all of my questions regarding the subject.  One of the questions I have involves how many prayers do I need to pray about someone or something?  If I pray for someone who is having surgery once, is that all it takes?  Do I need to pray several prayers for that person to get God’s attention or to get the answer I am seeking?  In the Old Testament, pagan people would go to crazy lengths to get the attention of their gods to no avail.  They would cut themselves and dance and plead with their gods and nothing would happen.  Are we any different with regard to prayer?  We beg and plead and we attempt to make deals with the Lord to get Him to answer in the affirmative.  We’ll ask many people to pray in the hopes that the more people who pray, the better chance God will answer how we want Him to answer.  Like I said, to me, prayer is a mystery.
In Luke 18:1-8, Jesus tells a parable about prayer.  An unjust judge who did not fear God had a problem.  There was a widow who came to him over and over again asking for justice against her adversary.  The judge refuses because he is not a good judge.  Eventually the woman wears the judge out and he gets sick and tired of this routine.  So he grants her justice, even though he is an unjust judge.  Luke says that the point of this parable is that we “should always pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1, NIV).  God is just and is nothing like the unjust judge.  He does care about people and justice and will hear and answer our prayers.  Though we may not understand all of the intricacies and mysteries of prayer, we should not give up on praying.  Prayer is a vital part of our relationship with God.  Let us seek to pray according to God’s will, not our own.  James 4 talks about how we should always pray according to the will of God.  If it is God’s will, let it be done.  Let us strive to be faithful pray-ers.  That way, when the Son of Man comes, He will find faith on the earth.

Luke 18:1-8 (NIV)

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

18 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?”


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