“And He spoke a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” (Luke 18:1)
Once I get to feeling better,” you may sometimes think, “I’ll start praying again with more regularity”…..
“Once I’m not so upset, once my heart is not so overwhelmed, maybe I’ll feel like praying with more fervor”…..
Once I’ve been able to build up some faith, I’ll start praying with more hope and belief and confidence, like I used to do”….
But which comes first? The passion or the praying?
George Müller is known to us today mainly through his classic autobiography and his inspiring personal testimony of how prayer; or more accurately, God’s answers to Müller’s prayer — sustained the work of his orphanages in late-1800s England. But among my favorite George Müller stories is how he prayed throughout his lifetime, day after day after day, for five of his unsaved friends to come to Christian faith ….
One of them was converted within a number of months; three others within a matter of many, many years. And the last — the fifth, who remained unsaved at the time of Müller’s death was finally captured by Christ in the aftermath of his old friend’s funeral. Fifty-two years of praying, every single day, resulted in prayers of faith that extended even beyond his lifetime …
But who prays like that? Every day? Again and again? Without fail?
And when we stop, why do we stop?
And what could get us started again after we’ve grown tired of praying and started coping instead of hoping?
Jesus’ parable of the persistent widow in (Luke 18:1–8) is said to contain one teaching purpose — that we “ought always to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1), because prayer and losing heart are paradoxical. People who persist in prayer don’t lose heart; people who lose heart don’t persist in prayer …..
Praying is meant to keep you believing when your reasons for believing are hard to see anymore. Praying keeps you focused, even when the option of fretting or fixing the problem yourself seems a more promising alternative. Praying keeps you caring when your natural inclination is to concede defeat and move on to something else ….
In other words, if you and I would keep praying, we wouldn’t lose heart.
No amount of waiting for certain emotions to align is enough to make prayer your go-to approach for days, weeks, months, and years. But by praying anyway; and persisting in it with a day-in, day-out refusal to give up, all of your reasons for hoping are kept alive ….
That’s how you as the pray-er (the one who’s praying) are changed and brought into conformity with the will of God for your life, even if your many prayers themselves don’t always lead to the outcome you most desired. But you can’t say you prayed and nothing happened, because in prayer God gave you strength and faith that wasn’t there before, and which would never have arrived or been allowed time to mature unless you’d persisted in prayer ….
Sometimes the which-comes-first question comes with no clear answer. But in this case it does. Prayer comes first. Then your faith is able to last ….
If you only pray when you’re in trouble; then you’re in deep trouble. Because God is not moved by our struggles; He is moved by our prayers. We can read of Daniel who “kneeled upon his knees and prayed, giving thanks three times a day” (Daniel 6:10) and it was said that Daniel was favored because he had an “excellent spirit” within him (Daniel 6:3).
I believe his persistent prayers are what God honored and hence he was able to triumph over all opposition that he encountered ….
If you are struggling today, and just need another warrior in your corner; know that I will stand in the gap for you interceding in prayer. I believe in the power of prayer and have witnessed untold miracles in my own life, as well of others I’ve known. If you have a need, or simply desire agreement on touching any certain thing; please comment or inbox me and I will pray for you ….
Let us pray ~
Lord God, You know all the hearts who are reading these words today. You know each sorrow and carry each burden for us when we come to You in prayer. Forgive us Father, for those times when we become faint hearted and complacent in our prayer life. Sometimes the burdens are so heavy.
Guide us with Your loving hand, and shadow us with Your love that we may feel Your presence even when we are bowed down under a heavy load unable to speak a word. Enable us to stand on Your promises and speak life over ourselves that we may become strong. Your Word says, “no weapon formed against us shall prosper” so may we therefore rise up in confidence that our trials will pass and Your Word says it is in our weakness that You are strong and Your grace is sufficient for all of our needs, whatsoever they may be.
We know we are not consumed because Your mercy and compassion fail not, but are new and fresh every morning. We can have hope and assurance that when we pray You will hear from heaven and will answer and deliver us, according to Your Word. Grant all your children peace today and may they know they aren’t alone, for You are always with us. In the precious name of Jesus we pray, Amen and amen ….