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Prayer: Will He Find Faith?

We have our marching orders; prayer is part of God’s will for us. “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you” (1 Thess. 5:16-18). But there’s something that affects our motivation to pray: answers.

Sometimes we pray and we see answers right away. (Hooray, God!) Sometimes, God just flat out says no. No is not our favorite word, but in this nanosecond age of technology, there’s one that’s even harder: “Wait.” But perhaps the most challenging response of all is nothing. (God, where are you?)

In Luke 18, Jesus told His disciples a parable about a persistent widow who kept bugging a judge for justice. While we say that seems annoying, Jesus used it as an illustration of persistent prayer. In verse 5, this unjust judge says “‘…because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” Jesus said this so we’d be assured “always to pray and not lose heart” (verse 1).

But it’s the last question in this passage that’s most telling. “… when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (verse 8). At the end of the day, prayer is all about persistent faith. “…without faith, it is impossible to please him” (Heb. 11:6). And so we pray on.

Posted by Joan S. with
in Prayer

Prayer: Finding the Words

The Bible is fuel for prayer because it doesn’t sugar-coat life. It’s raw and real. The psalms, for example, are completely honest. We can find prayers there for our souls. Angry? Check Psalm 4. Grief/feeling overwhelmed? Psalm 6. Trials? Psalm 20. It also meets us in our joy: Psalm 126. Grateful? Psalm 100. And on and on.

Scripture meets us where we are and ministers to us as the living word of God. God doesn’t want to hear from us only when we’ve got it all together or figured out (good luck with that). It’s a beautiful thing to take the words of Scripture and pray them back to God. When we don’t have words to pray; God does. He knows.

For example: “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.” These words of Psalm 23:1-3 could be prayed this way: Lord, be my shepherd today. With you, I want for nothing. Make me lie down in green pastures and lead me beside quiet waters, where You restore my soul. I need to be restored, Lord. Lead me in paths of righteousness – show me the way to go -- for Your name’s sake. I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Father, teach us to pray.

Posted by Joan S. with