Faithfulness in Prayer
I have written a lot about prayer in the past both on this blog and in my books. Prayer is one of those things that I desperately cling to as my lifeline in this messed up and fallen world. Sometimes however it seems as if nothing at all happens in response to my prayers. As I read the Story of God in scripture I see many others who, seemingly, felt the same way:
"How long, O LORD; will you ignore me forever?
How long will you hide Your face from me?
How long will I have cares on my mind,
grief in my heart all day?" (Ps 13.1-2)
I have become quite at home with Psalm 13 in recent times. Being faithful in prayer when it seems that nothing is happening is a faith challenge. Jesus challenged us to be faithful ... and he gave us a promise. I have been reminding God of this promise.
In Luke 18 has Jesus telling the story of a lady who bothered the stew out of a rather uncaring judge. She bugged the tar out of him until he basically said "Lady, I will give you what you want if you will just go away!!" Jesus applied that story directly to prayer. The question surrounding Luke 18 is basically "how will the people of God survive 'in the meantime'?" The answer is faithfulness in prayer.
Jesus said "listen to what the unjust judge says. And will no 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 you get justice, and quickly" (18.6-8a).
This is a bold promise Jesus makes. I sometimes wonder if I am one of the "chosen ones" as I have cried to him "day and night." It makes you wonder what the word "quickly" means too. As I keep up my vigil of knocking on the door and waiting on the just judge ... I do not intend on going away. Continuing to have faith is the real challenge.
Be faithful in prayer ... it is part of the "pattern" of discipleship.