Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Morning Cup of Tea: The Power of the Persistence of Prayer

Please read Luke 18: 1-8.

Jesus used the parable of the widow woman to teach about the persistence of prayer. The widow in the story went to the judge time after time after time with her petition. He wasn't about to help her at first, but she did not give up. The judge did not believe in God, yet finally helped her. God indeed hears our pleas from the beginning, but sometimes the answer does not come right then. 
   Don't give up. Continually praying about something shows our continued dependence on the Lord. We should also remember that with God there is no time, and He answers prayer in his own timing. If we trust in him, our prayers will be answered. I know for me, I want things fixed right away. Patience isn't something I'm strong on. At least, not as strong as I'd like to be, so it's not easy waiting on an answer. 
  This was part of our bible study lesson last night as we study Elijah. In I Kings 18, after the proof that Baal was not the true God, Elijah was on the top of Mount Carmel praying for rain. He prayed several times until a small cloud appeared on the horizon, and he knew God had answered his prayer. 
  In waiting on God to answer our prayers, it can be easy at times to grow frustrated, or want to give up. Don't. Be like the widow woman petitioning the judge. One of the ladies in the class told us one of her favorite verses:

   I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging for bread.
                                                Psalm 37:25

God knows our needs, but continued prayer keeps us focused. We realize that we can't do it all on our own. I've struggled with that lesson myself. The friend who gave that verse also told of a saying that helps her: God sees your path, and he is the waymaker. If we just follow him instead of barging through ourselves (often blindly), it works better.
  Finally, I leave you with one of my favorite verses. We all have struggles, we have times when we pray and pray and pray and want to give up. Hang in there. This is why:
   But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
                       Isaiah 40:31

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