We all have seemingly impossible situations which we wish God would do something about. There’s no visible progress in someone we are shepherding, a friend suddenly tells you he is an atheist, a relative has a life-threatening illness or damaging lifestyle. Something is weighing each of us down. I’m exhausted bearing the weight of some of my situations. But I was recently encouraged to pray daily for the matters on my heart until they are resolved.
The parable from Luke 18 highlights the importance of persistence in prayer.
1 And He told them a parable to the end that they ought always to pray and not lose heart,
2 Saying, There was a certain judge in a certain city who did not fear God and did not regard man.
3 And there was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, Avenge me of my opponent.
4 And for a time he would not; but afterward he said within himself, Even though I do not fear God nor regard man,
5 Yet because this widow causes me trouble, I will avenge her, lest by continually coming she wear me out.
6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unrighteous judge says.
7 And will not God by all means carry out the avenging of His chosen ones, who cry to Him day and night, though He is long-suffering over them?
8 I tell you that He will carry out their avenging quickly. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?
It may not seem like much is happening when we make mention of the person or matter we are concerned about, but an analogy based on Luke 18 recently helped me, which is this: there’s a scale with the weight of the impossible situation on one side and nothing on the other side. Making mention of that situation as it regards you is like throwing a business card on the scale. Eventually, though there may be a great weight on the other side of the scale, as the business cards pile up the scale will be tipped. and during this process, God will gain us and we will gain Him.
Prayer is our Cooperation with God
Recently I heard that these prayers are our cooperation with God. God is the one working, and by making mention to Him these situations, we open the door for Him to operate. Paul is a pattern in cooperating with God toward His church. Notice in these verses how much Paul makes mention of the believers.
Rom 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit in the gospel of His Son, how unceasingly I make mention of you always in my prayers,
Eph 1:16 Do not cease giving thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers,
1 Thes 1:2 We thank God always concerning all of you, making mention of you in our prayers,
Philemon 1:4 I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers,
Pray with others
Deuteronomy 32:30 indicates that our spiritual power in prayer is amplified many times by joining with just one other Christian:
How shall one chase a thousand and two put ten thousand to flight?