A prayer thread jumped of the pages of scripture for me this morning. I hope you too are encouraged to have persistent faith in praying even when there appears no immediate answer. Our God is always on time!!
He then told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not become discouraged:
“There was a judge in a certain town who didn’t fear God or respect man. And a widow in that town kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he was unwilling, but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or respect man, yet because this widow keeps pestering me, I will give her justice, so she doesn’t wear me out by her persistent coming.'”
Then the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. Will not God grant justice to His elect who cry out to Him day and night? Will He delay to help them? I tell you that He will swiftly grant them justice. Nevertheless when the Son of Man comes, will He find that faith on earth?‘”
Jesus thought it was important that the disciples understand the idea of praying continually. He does not say it will be easy, but to not get discouraged even though it may seem like the answer you keep receiving is a no, just like the widow. Why? Because our God is a just God. He does hear us when we cry day and night (Psalm 88:1-2, 13). He is not slow in His answer, but is always on time (Daniel 9:23).
Challenge: Can Jesus find me praying always for justice?
For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy giving thanks to the Father who has enabled you to share in the saints inheritance in the light. He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves. We have redemption, the forgiven of sins, in Him.
After reading this passage, I was immediately reminded of Ephesians 1:15-19, 4:1-3. In light of the Luke passage having read just before, I am challenged by Paul’s persistence in praying for his fellow brothers and sisters.
Challenge: Can Jesus find me continually praying for my brothers and sisters in Christ?
Acts 6:8-10, 15
Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people. Then some form what is called the Freedmen’s Synagogue, composed of both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia, came forward and disputed with Stephen. But they were unable to stand up against his wisdom and the Spirit by whom he was speaking…And all who were sitting in the Sanhedrin looked intently at him and saw that his face was like the face of an angel.
Wow. Reading this passage this morning, my thoughts went to my three teenager children and one almost teenager. Am I taking the time to pray continually for my children to be full of grace and power and wisdom? Do I pray their words would be full of the Spirit and useful for edifying and building others up (Ephesians 4:29)? Do I pray their time God’s word would be guarded so that when they enter into their day their faces would shine like an angel because of the time they spent with our Lord (Exodus 34:35)?
Challenge: What would happen if I prayed continually for my own children the prayer Paul prayed for the Colossians?
The prayer thread continued when I opened my e-mail to find the following link to a devotion also related to prayer.
Lord, today may you give me Your Spirit of constant fellowship with You in prayer. Help me to give thanks to You in all that I do. Help me to pray for justice against Satan as You have already won the victory. Help me to lift up my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, my children, and my husband to you throughout the day. Fill us with the knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. Not for our glory, but so we may walk worthy of You Lord, fully pleasing You, bearing fruit in every thing we do today and growing in the knowledge of God. Strengthen us with all power, according to Your glorious might, for all endurance and patience in whatever lies ahead of us this day. Help us to persevere with joy and giving thanks to God the Father who has enabled us to share in the saints inheritance in the light. For You have rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son You love. We have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, in Christ Jesus. Amen