And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.”–Luke 18:1
As I look at my prayer list I am reminded that a great many folks are suffering and in great need of prayer–God forbid that I should fail them. I came across the following article in my files that reminded me of this great responsibility. Hopefully it will encourage you to continue in prayer.
Christ went more readily ad crucem (to the cross), than we do to the throne of grace.—Thomas Watson
Great military leader and devout Christian General Robert E. Lee once wrote, “Knowing that intercessory prayer is our mightiest weapon and the supreme call for all Christians today, I pleadingly urge our people everywhere to pray. Believing that prayer is the greatest contribution that our people can make in this critical hour, I humbly urge that we take time to pray—to really pray. Let there be prayer at sunup, at noonday, at sundown, at midnight—all through the day. Let us all pray for our children, our youth, our aged, our pastors, our homes. Let us pray for our churches. Let us pray for ourselves, that we may not lose the word ‘concern’ out of our Christian vocabulary. Let us pray for our nation. Let us pray for those who have never known Jesus Christ and redeeming love, for moral forces everywhere, for our national leaders. Let prayer be our passion. Let prayer be our practice.”
Prayer is one of the great privileges of the Christian life. Lowly, sinful human beings are allowed to approach the Holy of holies, the Lord God, the Creator of the earth. The very One who set the stars in the sky and formed the tiny ant invites you into a daily time of conversation, confession, requests, and praise with Him. He desires to hear personally from you.
Yet sadly, many times we can become weary in our prayers. We bring a request before God for a length of time, and after not seeing God’s answer right away, we can become discouraged and give up.
In the closing verses of John 17, Jesus teaches about His second coming. After presenting that great truth, Jesus gives the admonition in 18:1 that “men ought always to pray and faint not.”
God does not want us to “lose heart” in our prayer lives, but has promised to be our advocate as we are faithful to continually seek Him in prayer.
When we pray, we come before God with a pure heart and lay our requests at His feet, trusting Him to take care of them. God has three answers to our petitions: yes, no, or wait. Sometimes what we are asking is in the will of God; sometimes it’s not in our best interest; and sometimes God’s timing is not right yet.
Have you ever prayed over something for months or even years without seeing results? Do not become discouraged. God hears your prayers! Praying faithfully takes faith to know that God hears what you are asking and is working everything out for your good. God has a plan for that request and will fulfill it in His time.
Think of that one request you have been praying about for a while. Do you believe that God can and will answer your request? Do you trust that His answer will be perfect, even if it doesn’t match your desired outcome? Then have faith and continue praying faithfully, trusting that God is in control.