We Should Not Give Up
Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 55:9-15| Joshua 13:1-14:15| Luke 18:1-17|Proverbs 13:7-8
Today’s Scripture Focus: Luke 18
“Then Jesus told them a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1 NIV).
Persistent prayer and persevering faith are missing elements in much of our prayer. Jesus reminds us in this parable how important it is not to give up in our praying. He also shows us that it is not only being persistent in prayer that is important, but also persevering in our faith when we pray.
When our prayers are not immediately answered, our faith is stretched and tested. It is easy to give up. It’s easy to throw in the towel and not make the effort to persevere in prayer. But Jesus reminds us that even an unjust judge will eventually answer the persistent cries of the one who is bothering him for justice. How much more, he asks, will our Heavenly Father who is just and loving answer our cries for help?
But perhaps the most important part of the story is the final question, “But how much of that kind of persistent faith will the Son of Man find on the earth when he returns?” (The Message). Even more important than the persistent prayers is the faith that perseveres despite the delays and apparent denials. You see, even our persistent prayers can be made without faith–we just go through the motions with little expectation of the answer. God is looking for our faith–and is especially pleased with a faith that perseveres despite what it sees–a faith that refuses to die even as it presses in expectantly despite months or years with no apparent answer.
Your persistent prayers will one day be rewarded. As your faith is refined through the testing, you will grow and mature. That is often a big part of the answer (and the reason for the wait). But know that the answer is coming. Don’t give up on your praying. Never stop expecting. Your heavenly father is just and loving—and he is listening.
Loving Father, thank you for hearing my prayers. Help me to understand that the delays are opportunities for my faith to be stretched and to grow. I wait in hope. I wait expectantly. I look forward to the answer when the time is right. Amen.