Praying with Perseverance (Fowery Parish; Cornwall, UK)
INTRODUCTIOIN -- Prayer is: 1) spending time with God – acknowledging God’s presence in all our lives’ activities; and 2) conversation with God – listening to and talking with God. Prayer reflects on our relationship with God. Why don’t we pray. The Apostle James, in James 4:2-3, provides a perspective regarding Prayer Life: “You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions."
In praying, we should know the difference between prayers of "petition" (praying for one's own needs) and prayers of "intercession" (praying for the needs of others). God wants prayers of "petition" from us -- all our needs and concerns should be brought to Him in prayer because He loves and cares for us. However, God want us to, also, focus on others and their needs (intercession) -- physical and spiritual. "Intercessory prayer” is fundamental to deepening our prayer life and our personal relationship with God.
SUNDAY MESSAGE – Jesus’ parable, in Luke 18:1-8, is about both faith and prayer. In this text from Luke, Jesus speaks about the power of persistent prayer. In Luke 18:1, Jesus tells us: “And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.". In Luke 18:2-3, Jesus is speaking about an “unrighteous judge” who is constantly appealed to, for justice, by a widow. For a while, this judge refused to hear the plea of this widow. However, because the widow was so persistent in her appeal, the judge the Judge hears the widow’s appeal for justice: “For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” (Luke 18:4-5).
In further comment regarding the message of His parable in Luke 18:6-8, Jesus tells us that persistence in both our faith and prayer matters greatly: “And the Lord said, ‘Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?’".
Additional lessons, that we can learn from this parable, include: 1) God is more ready to answer prayer than we are ready to pray; and 2) we must be persistent in our prayers until we have an answer.
Pray specific prayers, in the Holy Spirit and in Scripture, for ourselves and for others -- be persistent.
TODAY’S AFFIRMATION: I affirm that because of what God has done for me in His Son, Jesus, I AM A CHILD OF GOD. Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God-- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God. (John 1:12f).
SCRIPTURE REFERENCE (ESV): Luke 18:1-8; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; James 1:5; 1 Peter 5:7; Psalms 55:22; Philippians 4:6; Matthew 5:25-34; Luke 11:5-8; Luke 11:10-12; 1 Timothy 2:1,3-4.
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