The Tireless Nature of Prayer
“He said: ‘In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’
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?”’
Watching A.D. The Bible Continues, I was struck at the power of prayer in the poignant scene where the disciples are praying and the Spirit comes upon them with the spirit of tongues. After that scene, I came to a stunning revelation:
I don't pray enough.
If I fully understood the power prayer has to change not only my life but also the lives of others, i would never stop praying. However, as most of us do, the busyness of life tears us away from the opportunity to commune with God on a daily, and momentarily basis. As Peter and the Apostles prayed, He was changed by it too. The one timid Peter now possessed the power to heal the sick, drive out demons and preach the good news. After all, with the Spirit on his side, who would want to not share that with everyone?
However, I often reduce it to a perfunctory prayer during grace or at the end of the day before my eyes get too weary to stay open. Yet, the Spirit is the way we can feel the closest to Jesus and be filled with His spirit to e able to perform those same miracles the apostles did. The apostles didn’t waste the opportunity and neither should we.
If Jesus were to walk by my side as he did to the Apostles after His resurrection, would He see? Would He see someone who relied on Him for everything, or someone who was trying to rely on Her own strength?
How about you? What would Jesus see if He were to come back right now and appear at your side? Would you be on your knees, or trying to stand on your own two feet?
I, for one, strive not to waste any more opportunities to change my life of others by choosing not to pray.
“‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven.”‘ Mark10:21 Imagine for a moment you are stuck in a traffic jam on the way to work. You can see the exit just a few miles away, but you simply can’t get there. You know what to do and where to go, you just have to take the necessary steps to get to your destination.
The rich young ruler knew what to do, too. I find it hard to believe that Jesus’ words came as a surprise to him. Knowing the Scriptures since he was a young boy means he must have had a knowledge of Scripture for quite some time. Since the Old testament is packed with verses regarding giving to the needy and feeding the poor, the rich man must have understood that one of the characteristics of God was sacrifice.
So why couldn’t he commit do doing it?
One word stood in his way: Go.
It’s easy to go through the motions of the faith by reading the Word, praying and going to church. But its the application of the Word to our daily lives that poses the biggest challenge. The rich man had the steps and knew where to go. He just wouldn’t allow himself to get there.
Challenge: Where are you? Are you going through the motions of faith? Are you stuck in traffic, knowing where you need to go but not able to get there? In what way(s) can local church body help you get there?
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