Luke prefaces Jesus’ parable (Luke 18:1-8) about the persistent widow and the unjust judge this way:
Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1).
Sometimes Scripture makes you work to figure out the big idea behind a text; other times the writer makes the point as plain as the nose on your face. You don’t have to guess where Jesus wants to take us with this story of the woman who hounded the judge until he caved in and gave her protection.
Believers ought always to pray.
You’ve heard the adage I’m sure, Never say “never” or “always.” When it comes to prayer, that adage doesn’t apply. We ought always to pray.
Convicting little words, "ought always," eh?
The Psalmists don’t let us off the hook here either.
Psalm 55:17 says, Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur, and He will hear my voice.
Psalm 86:3 adds, Be gracious to me, O Lord, for to Thee I cry all day long.
Daniel keeps pouring on the conviction: Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously (Dan 6:10).
And then there’s Paul. Romans 12:12 says, rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer.
Or there is Ephesians 6:18 which reads, With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.
Then we have Philippians 4:6: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
And let's not forget Colossians 4:2: Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.
Finally, we read the terribly difficult to interpret 1Thessalonians 5:17: pray without ceasing!
With this much repetition, even I can get the point.
Prayer ought to be as automatic to the Christian as breathing is to the human being.
Everything depends upon calculating God into the equation. Nothing could be truer when it comes to the church of Jesus Christ corporate.
There are many levels upon which I could exhort you to pray, but I only want to emphasize one as an application to the principle of this blog post.
May God grant us a spirit of prayer as a local church body.
At present we have one appointed for-the-purpose-of-prayer-only meeting time on our church calendar. It's Wednesday nights at TRBC throughout the summer.
Please consider joining us for that hour to intercede on behalf of God’s work in our church--especially as we wait upon the Lord for a new pastor.
We cannot afford to drop the ball here. Too much is at stake to take our chances with fleshly dependence. I know only one antidote to that malaise--prayer.
Oh, may God do a radical work in us for intercession as we move ahead with what He has for us as His people in the future!