|by Henry T. Blackaby||Return to Articles|
In Luke 18:1-8 Jesus reminds us “that men always ought to pray and not lose heart” And to illustrate this, He spoke a parable about a persistent, helpless widow who sought justice from her adversary. But the judge to whom she took her complaint “did not fear God nor regard man.” He simply didn’t care and sent her on her way. But after her “continual coming” the judge granted her the justice she sought. How much more, then, will God, who loves us with an everlasting love, “avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him?”
There should never be a time when a believer should not have his attention directed to God. God is faithful. God is always present and always active in the midst of every situation. Our fellowship with Him should be uninterrupted and unbroken. In every circumstance God has something to say. This is why Jesus desires that our prayer life be a continual 24/7 way of life. Paul knew this as well. His attention was constantly directed toward God and he urged every believer to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
We have already observed the National Day of Prayer this month. May I challenge you to continue praying daily and without ceasing “for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence (1 Timothy 2:2). Pray continually for President Bush, our Congress, our courts and our military. Pray for local and state officials. Pray for our policemen and our firefighters. And pray for pastors and leaders everywhere who bring the Word of God to the nations (Hebrews 13:7).
Jesus also said in praying that we ought never to “lose heart” or become discouraged. Today, we are living in dark and desperate times. Many believers have grown weary from the moral decay of our culture and ask how long until God sweeps across the nation in a mighty revival. Others have become discouraged with our involvement in Iraq and ask when God will bring peace to the Middle East. And still others ask when God will avenge His elect that are persecuted worldwide. Like the widow, many feel helpless and oppressed in their circumstances. In all things, however, we must remember that Jesus’ promise remains true: “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23). Therefore, let us ask God to help our unbelief.
In a solemn closing remark (Luke 18:8) Jesus adds, “When the Son of Man comes, will he really find faith on the earth?” Will He find His people in persistent, fervent prayer? You see, Jesus knew from His own life how essential prayer was to be in every life. But He wondered if people would possess the type of faith required for such a prayer life. May we not disappoint Him by ceasing to pray.