Todays readings… 1 Chronicles 8, Ezekiel 21, Luke 18
“A PARABLE … ALWAYS TO PRAY AND NOT LOSE HEART”
In this parable, at the start of Luke ch. 18, Jesus illustrates the importance of persistence in prayer. We must become increasingly conscious that God’s power is such that he sees and knows all.
David puts it this way, “O LORD … you discern my thoughts from afar.” [Psalm 139 v.2]. Today’s parable in Luke ch. 22 challenges us to consider answers to prayer. Do we seek to know God’s will for us, or are we only thinking of our own wants and desires?
Early this month we read of the traumas in Paul’s life. How urgent his prayers must have been in the many difficult situations he endured, but his Lord led him through them all.
Soon we will read of Jesus, in earnest prayer to His Father: he does not get the answer he seeks, but the Father’s will has to be done. [Ch. 22 v.41, 42]
Our way of thinking might cause us to wonder why the Lord led Paul into all these difficulties; but then we look at the outcome and realize that overcoming difficulties is how faith grows, we see in this parable the woman’s faith was, in the end, rewarded. The ‘punch line’ of the parable is that we should “always pray and not lose heart” [v.7]
The climax is a question [v.8], “when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Will he find those who really know the value and power of prayer; who are praying to the uttermost for a faith that grows as the world is falling apart around them? We must constantly strive to be among those who do not lose heart?
Now look at the next parable; it is about two different types of men who went into the Temple to pray. One was telling the Almighty what he did, but of the one whose prayer was heard, Jesus says, he “went down to his house justified,” and our Lord makes the point, “the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” [v.14]. Yes, we ought always to pray – in humility of spirit – even more – as we sense our Lord is about to come. Let us make sure we are among “his elect who cry to him day and night” [v.7].