“Now Jesus was telling the disciples a parable to make the point that at all times they ought to pray and not give up and lose heart.” Luke 18:1 Amp
If you have hung in there for our 30 for 30 thus far, it is highly likely that you have been praying for things that have not happened yet. And that is probably discouraging you. Well, just know that you are not alone. And I don’t mean just because there are others participating in this 30 for 30 who are experiencing the same thing, but rather because people since the beginning of time have experienced the same thing. That is why Jesus taught this parable.
The truth is, God is not operating on your time, but on His. That doesn’t make Him insensitive, or neglectful, but rather–just–God.
One of the main problems is we have grown up in an instant gratification culture so waiting is not our strong suit. But no matter how impatient we are, God is not going to accommodate our micro-wave mentality by turning His kingdom into a fast-food drive-through window. No, He wants an actual relationship with you, which is the primary purpose of these 30 for 30s.
Strength and Strategy have been the focus of these past 29 days of prayer–not quick answers to quick prayers. The purpose was/is to help you develop a consistent prayer and Word life which will give you far greater benefits than a few answered prayers. You will grow. You will become more like Jesus. You will find yourself exhibiting more of the fruit of the Spirit more often. You will walk in more wisdom.
And it doesn’t take a perfect record to experience these things. This commitment has not been about getting brownie points with God or getting a good grade on your heavenly report card. Rather, it has been about becoming a prayer warrior, gaining confidence at the throne of grace, learning to hear God’s voice more clearly, and learning to recognize God’s thoughts by reading God’s Word.
One person told me at church on Sunday that he has only done the 30 for 30s about half the time. Well, if this were baseball, and if we were keeping records, that would mean he is batting .500! That would be a hit every two times at bat. There has only been one person in baseball history, St. Luis Cardinal’s shortstop Aledmys Diaz, who has ever done that.
Jesus’ point in the parable in Luke 18 was to keep getting up to the plate and swinging.
In this parable He tells of a widow who goes before an unjust judge and pleads with him until she gets what she wants. Now many have taught that this represents us before God. That is incorrect. You are not a widow and God is not unjust.
A little Bible lesson here: There are parables of comparison and parables of contrast. Parables of comparison are “this is like that”. For instance, “The kingdom of God is like a field…”. Whereas, a parable of contrast is, “this is not like that”. For instance, the Father in the parable of the prodigal son, who represents God, is not like the God the religious leaders were teaching about.
This parable of contrast is saying that if a widow (one of the most powerless people in that culture) could get an unjust judge to give her what she wants, how much more can a son or daughter move a just God with their consistent and passionate prayers.
Don’t give up. Don’t lose heart. Keep praying and trust, that in time, your prayers will pay off!
THINK ABOUT IT
- Have you grown weary in prayer? If so, ask yourself what you are praying about. Is it only for something to happen, or also about developing character, tenacity, and intimacy with God?
- Have you ever experienced anything in life that is truly worthwhile that you didn’t have to fight for? Maybe a degree, a career, longevity in ministry, a quality friendship, a marriage… The truth is you are in a spiritual battle – no, a spiritual war – and wars are not won in a day – or even 30 days.
- How do you think it would make a difference in your spiritual walk if you viewed your prayer life as a marathon and not a sprint? What if you saw your prayers as essential and beneficial as breathing is to your physical body? How would this change your perspective about prayer?