Sunday, June 14, 2015

THY WILL BE DONE: PRAYER - "BE PERSISTENT"

If you look up the definition of the word “persistent” in the great Webster’s Dictionary, the word “relentless” stands out boldly. A classic version of this same dictionary, before language and culture got as corrupt and out of sync with reality and God, as today, has a significant definition for those who seek to pursue the Heart of God. The man or woman who fights life’s battles on his/her knees is to be admired and as a result immediately stands out among the ordinary.  To wit, the 1913 Webster’s defines Persistent, in relation to such a person, as one who “remains beyond the period when parts of the same kind sometimes fall off!!” This is actually the biological definition of the word, but describes what we are studying here, perfectly!

What this says, in essence is the persistent prayer warrior is one who presses on, when others simply give up because they think they are not getting the response from God they seek. We all have matters before the Lord, from the moment we were aware of His presence in our lives, before He called us through the process of rejuvenation and salvation, where prayers are either never answered (human perception) or the matter is under consideration (divine perception).

Jesus Himself showed us the way to perseverance in prayer in Luke 18:1-5 “Then He spoke a parable to them that men always ought to pray and not lost heart. Saying ”There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a certain widow in that city; and she came to him saying, ‘get justice for me from my adversary’. (The unjust judge) would not for a while; but afterward he said to himself, ‘though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her CONTINUAL COMING she weary me’.” (Emphasis mine).

This incredible teaching by the Lord in the passage above, followed by the analogy or anecdotal evidence of the "unjust judge" is all we need to persist in prayer. Let us briefly examine what Jesus said here: "He spoke.....that men.... always ought to pray and not lost heart (verse 1)
Consider this:
Jesus spoke- Now this is the very SAME voice which SPOKE the world into existence, "in the beginning" of time, as we know it! Think of what power the Voice, Which sounds like Niagara Falls, actually has! He Who spoke us into existence.... He Who parted the Red Sea....He Whose Voice called Lazarus from the dead....it is He Who is telling us HOW we are supposed to pray! Earlier on, the Voice of God also "strongly recommends", in the Sermon on the Mount, that we both pray and fast. This is NOT Old Testament, so LISTEN TO HIM!

So we have the underlying directive from the Greatest Authority of the World - the Voice of Jesus (re: Jesus spoke) and He tells us we "always ought to pray"! The word "ought" here is originally written "dei". This strong word means more than "you should....or you REALLY ought to"! What Jesus is saying here is "it behooves you to so do, and in fact, it is more than NECESSARY for you to press on and then press in, because you know what, you really MUST...." All of this is wrapped up in this one word!

Then finally, the Voice, after saying it is necessary to pray for (or offer prayers about), directs that we should NOT lose heart. The original language here, which is key to understanding Truth, is "ekkakeó". Jesus is saying in common vernacular "come on, man, are you going to give up this easy? Are you going to fall away too? I expect one of My children, My sons and daughters, My prayer warriors, My men and women of God to fight all the time, in all circumstances, in all manner of ways on their knees!"

Jesus knows He can answer any prayer and correct every wrong immediately, if He wanted to, but just like the woman who had the blood issue, He allowed her to SEEK HIM OUT, THEN touch the priestly tassels on His garment so she could be healed. This is the only way humans can really appreciate how great a Salvation we have and how much God really loves us and wants to help us! We do all of this praying and not getting weary or "losing heart" or otherwise throwing in the towel like most modern Christians - we do this ALL on our knees. We are the only people in Creation ever, who are strongest when we are weak, meek and seek on our knees!


In these few words from the Creator of the Universe (Colossians 1:13-21) we see the exhortation and the example of persistent prayer. So when things are not going our way, things which affect us deeply, personally and even professionally, we stay focused on Him, we fight with Him and we finish the course on our knees before Him. The key thing is "we stay", we persist, we never lose heart and never weary in doing good, or speaking with the One Who is forever Good, True and Holy! If He answers differently  than we expect, well then, it is for our own good. 

Be persistent! Stand out as a warrior on your knees, staying there, while everyone around is giving up and walking away. Be strong and courageous, for the Lord thy God, is with us. Amen.
Next: "Be Positive"
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