Sunday, April 24, 2016

Persistent Prayer

While it may be difficult to hear, those in the midst of great grief have one significant advantage over those of us who are in the midst of relative peace and security in life circumstances. Those enduring great grief have the "advantage" of holding a right understanding of our lack of self-sufficiency, and our constant need for Christ. In Luke 18, Jesus describes a widow who bombards an unrighteous judge with her petitions for justice. Eventually, the unrighteous judge gives in to her requests, not because the judge is righteous, but because the widow is persistent. If this widow was successful, how much more successful are we when the recipient of our persistent requests is a loving and righteous God? Most of us don't pray like the persistent widow because we really don't believe we need prayer that much. Our culture, and any own personal experiences of personal success, teach us that we can "pull ourselves up by our bootstraps" and achieve what we set out to do. Indeed, some of us fill up our lives with tasks, and create status in our minds about ourselves so that, having formed a sense of self-righteousness about our status, believe we can look at others in self-created righteous indignation over failure to abide by our self-created, self-governed standards. Moreover, these same standards are then applied to God when God fails to abide by our self-created sense of sufficiency. For those in the midst of great grief, we must continue to pour out or requests to God. In His timing, we trust that He will answer in ways that are eternally beneficial. For those like me in periods of relative comfort, we must continually repent of our attempts at self-sufficiency, and look to move to greater and greater dependence upon God. In that dependence, we can then persist in prayer, knowing that we have a good and loving Father hearing our prayers.