This parable of the persistent widow I relate to and not just from 2017. Today, on day 18 of 21 days of prayer and fasting at our church, it was timely for me personally to be reminded of this WORD.
Am I persistent in prayer and faith like the parable of the persistent widow who just kept knocking at the door of the unjust judge? Even this “unjust judge” – “who neither feared God nor cared about people” – finally gave in because of her persistence.
Have you ever remained persistent in prayer over a few days, months or even years? How about praying faithfully not just 21 days or 21 months, but what about 5, 10, 20 or 40 years plus and you still have not seen the answer or a breakthrough? I am speaking from a place of persistent prayer for over 35 years, and in regards to a certain issue that has had me crying out faithfully in prayer for 14 plus years now. Can you relate? I am sure many of you can. This is life on earth not yet as it is in Heaven. Still we pray as Jesus taught us to, “Your Kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.”
In our fast paced, no waiting, give it to me now, drive thru society many give up or do not continue to pray faithfully and believe God will faithfully answer requests, especially as they line up with His Word.
And we are confident that He hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him. And since we know He hears us when we make our requests, we also know that He will give us what we ask for. 1 John 5:14-15
Specifically, praying for people to know the Lord and be free to love and walk in His ways is God’s will we know. There is a spiritual war going on and it is over the war of the souls of people. God loves all people and desires to set captives free to experience His love and walk in truth. The enemy of our souls strategizes to keep people held captive through lies, fear and bondage.
Thank you, Pastor Daniel Floyd, for reminding us this morning of your own Father’s example of persistently praying for your Uncle for 40 years. Thank you for sharing the answer being received after seeing your Father remain persistent to pray for his brother’s heart to be changed. The greatest miracle of all is when God changes our hearts. This also reminds us of the power of sharing answers to prayers with others and being just as persistent to praise and thank God for His faithfulness to hear and answer us in His timing.
In Luke 18:8 we are reminded by Jesus that God will grant justice to His chosen people who keep crying out day and night when He returns. Our answer may not be seen in our timing, but in God’s timing we can be assured the answer will come as we continue to keep on praying and believing. Yes, we may not see it until we reach Heaven. However, even so, we should expect the answer or the breakthrough to come at any time and always in God’s timing if we truly have faith in God.
Encouraging myself as I encourage you.
Be persistent in prayer.
…if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence. Luke 11:8
God is always working. In the waiting, He is working even when we don’t see it. In persistent and prayerful waiting, God is working in our own hearts too. He is sometimes waiting on us to:
count it all joy,
focus on His goodness,
grow in grace and patience,
love and forgive others,
always treat others with mercy and kindness,
not waver in unbelief,
praise and thank Him continually,
and so much more.
This is not easy. It is often hard, but all things are possible with God.
Help us, Holy Spirit.
Prayer is powerful, because God is ALL powerful!
Today, I hope this not only reminds you to be persistent in prayer, but to also be filled with praise and thankfulness for what God has already done and the prayers He has already answered. Even if you can only be thankful for His amazing love, grace and forgiveness in your own life, this is more than enough reason for our hearts to be filled with praise and thankful attitudes. Again, I am preaching to myself too. I do this oh so well. No, I need encouragement too. Perhaps you can relate? All of us need encouragement to remain persistent in prayer, but especially if we have been praying for many years over a heart breaking issue.
Finally, over the years, I have seen the Lord answer so many prayers. The Word, “pray about everything” Joyful Jenny has taken literally. I might be talking with you and just break right into a prayer right then and there. That’s what happens when we practice just talking to the Lord throughout our day and continually. God has answered specific prayers for finding lost keys and diamond earrings and even asking for silly things like football tickets in sold out stadiums that brought a rolling of the eyes at the time, but yet God still answered these. These have nothing to do with the seriousness of broken hearts that need help and healing or what lasts for eternity and yet, if we follow the Word and pray about everything, His supernatural involvement in the mundane for sure we will see. I have seen God bring physical and emotional healing, provide unexpected resources, bring restoration to marriages, and break chains of addiction through praying alongside others who persistently pray together as well. I have also seen God bring radical life change to people whose names I have prayed consistently and many years for, and cried tears of joy when this news came to me.
The enemy also knows the power of the prayers of us righteous sons and daughters and that lying serpent is out to discourage us in defeating the forces of darkness that we wage war against in the heavenlies. We have to be reminded, he is out to stop our prayers and our praises. These practices keep our hearts in tune with God and His rhythms of grace and keep the enemy’s lies away and keep him in his place.
Lord, help us all to remain persistent in praising You too!
Additional References: Luke 4:18-19; 1 John 4:18; Galatians 5:1; John 3:16; 10:10; 14:6; Matthew 19:26; Philippians 4:6; James 1:2-8; Mark 11:22-25; Romans 12:12; 2 Corinthians 10:3; Ephesians 6:10-18