"One day, Jesus told his disciples a story to show how that they should always pray and never give up." Luke 18:1
"Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don't you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people..." Luke 18:7
"But when the Son of man returns, how many will he find on earth who have faith?" Luke 18:8
Little girls are relentless. "Daddy? Daddy? Daddy? Daddy? Daddy? Daddy?" can become an icepick in a parent's eardrum when it is repeated over and over again. I remember responding on more than one occasion to this relentless request, with an exasperated, "What do you want now?" My wife taught me to avoid using this phrase as a release valve, and to just respond earlier. She said it would lower my blood pressure, and avoid discouraging my daughters from coming to me. She reminded me they weren't going to be any less relentless, and I was going to give in, anyway. Good advice.
The story Jesus shared with His disciples about prayer bears a striking similarity to my own anecdotal analysis of parenting little girls. The relentless are rewarded.
The lesson to be learned in prayer is actually two fold: KEEP PRAYING & KEEP FAITH.
Prayer is not an idol, but it is an essential part of an active faith. Faith is not some inanimate object or ethereal concept. It is applied truth, or truth in action.
"We do what we believe in. All the rest is religious talk." Peter Lord.
Prayer is the primary means of putting what we believe in action. Prayer puts faith, or our beliefs into motion. Prayer puts trust in God, and this believing prayer is rewarded. It cultivates a calm and a confidence in life based on a continuing series of answers to prayer.
People who practice believing prayer grow in faith, having learned the lesson that God will keep His promises to His people. Prayer acts on promises made by God, to His people, in The Word of God. Read it. Pray it.
A prayerless faith is a complete paradox. Prayerlessness finds no basis upon which to trust in the promises of God's Word. Prayerless people have become discouraged by delay and as a result have either come to trust in themselves or lost complete faith in God. Prayerless people are deceived.
God's delay doesn't represent God's denial of a request. It may be His call for the deepening of desire or the purifying of it. When there is a delay, pray anyway. God is always at work.
God answers the prayers that are prayed, not delayed. Don't delay. The simple truth is this. Prayers must be prayed to be answered. Children who run to The Father for an answer may not get the answer they want, but they will not be ignored. God keeps His promises. God answers His children. KEEP PRAYING.
Prayer is not mere symbolism, but it represents the faith of the children of God, in the love of The Father. When hope in The Father is all the children of God have, they pray with a profound intensity. Once they lose confidence in their own ability to transform their condition, they lean on The Father with relentless dependency. Prayerfulness is initiated by the hopelessness of their own position, unless The Father intervenes. The prayerful trust Him to come through. He always does. KEEP FAITH.
TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!