Pray … And Don’t Stop!

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 about men. 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 about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!'”
(Luke 18:1-5)

“There comes a time, in spite of our soft, modern ways, when we must be desperate in prayer, when we must wrestle, when we must be outspoken, shameless and importunate. Many of the prayers recorded in Scripture are ‘cries,’ and the Hebrew and Greek words are very strong. Despite opinions to the contrary, the Bible recognizes such a thing as storming heaven–‘praying through.’ The fervent prayer of a righteous man is mighty in its working.”
-Cameron Thompson

In this parable Jesus emphasizes the importance of persistent prayer. We are not to become defeated over our difficulties in life. We are not to be discouraged over our circumstances. We are to avoid anxiety in our hardships by looking to the One who can help us! Jesus said:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

The writer of Hebrews adds:

Therefore … let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (Hebrews 12:1-3)

Difficulties are a given in this life. We should not be surprised when we experience them. Peter tells us:

“God brings us into straits that He may bring us to our knees.” -Matthew Henry

Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. (1 Peter 4:12-13)

“If six or sixty prayers are past, pray on and never faint; a blessing surely comes at last, to cheer a drooping saint.”
-K. H. Von Bogatzky

Whenever our spirits are burdened we must ease them with prayer. James tells us:

The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)

We are reminded by Paul:

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

“Anxiety is the natural result when our hopes are centered in anything short of God and His will for us.” -Billy Graham

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

“So, take a deep breath and recall this deeper secret of the Christian life: when you are in a difficult place, realize that the Lord either placed you there or allowed you to be there, for reasons perhaps known for now only to Himself. The same God who led you in will lead you out.” (Robert J. Morgan)

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

“One who believes in the name of Jesus Christ has an assurance (parr¢sia) in approaching God in prayer (cf. 3:21). Requests made in accordance with God’s will are heard by Him and a believer can be certain of receiving answers to them.”-The Bible Knowledge Commentary

“‘Pray without ceasing’”… and here the word ‘pray’ does not mean to beg or to plead as if God were unwilling to give–but simply to expose by faith every situation as it arises, to the all-sufficiency of the One who indwells you by His life.” -Major W. Ian Thomas
God takes great delight in the consistency and perseverance of our prayer life. Are we praying against a certain bondage to sin that has been passed from generation to generation? Are we praying for a wayward child to find their way back to the foot of the cross and the light of home? How about all of the prayers for our lost loved ones and others that we know to find salvation through our Lord Jesus? What about our prayers for comfort by the greatest Comforter–emotionally, physically, and mentally? Jesus is telling us in this parable: “Don’t give up!”

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him. (1 John 5:14-15)

“God will have me to be faithful; and should not He be so Himself? Am I to trust in His Word? Then, surely, He will not forsake me, but be as good as His Word. Heaven and earth must pass away, but His Word will not; He is ever faithful. If I do not believe this, I think blasphemously of God, and can have no help or comfort from His Word: but if I truly believe Him to be faithful, I believe enough. This is what He only desires; and if I really do, my faith will not be moved even in the hottest trials: the Word will hold me up, though I receive it even in weakness. But my faith must be attended with continual prayer.” -K. H. Von Bogatzky

Take It to Heart

This is what the LORD says, he who made the earth, the LORD who formed it and established it–the LORD is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ (Jeremiah 33:2-3)

“No sea is deeper than the ocean of His love. There is no army stronger than His hosts, no force greater than His throne of grace, no enemy who can overcome His direct and indirect work in our lives.” (Robert J. Morgan)