January 30th – Not Giving Up On Prayer

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’. Luke 18: 1-3
Am I hearing correctly? Is Jesus telling us that we have to keep on nagging God in prayer – like the widow in the parable who wore out a crooked magistrate by persistence until He finally found in her favour, just to get rid of her? How can that be a parable of persistence in prayer? God is not a crooked judge. We don’t have to nag Him. Our most persistent requests are not always right. Surely prayer is mostly learning to listen to God. Not keeping on battering his ears with our often ignorant requests …… ‘Lord make him love me…’ ‘Take the pain away Lord.’ ‘Lord give me money and power.’
How can we learn persistence in prayer from this story? Well, it’s not a parable of likeness, but of contrast. If a crooked little magistrate can be swayed by a persistent woman, how much more will God, who is not little, nor crooked, nor impatient, deal with us when we pray? God is not unjust. He does not have to be talked into doing what’s best for us. He likes us to ask, but He is able to do his part ….. the real problem is not whether or not God can do his part – it is rather, can we be trusted to do ours. The parable in Luke 18 ends with these verses: 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? Luke 18: 6-8
There’s the rub. When it comes to praying I don’t have to worry about God answering -only my asking.
A prayer: Lord I’m tired of saying my prayers.Teach me to pray.
Now read James Chapters 4 and 5.

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