Pray and Don’t Lose Heart
“And He told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” Luke 8:1
Please allow me a bit of room below to simply speak, not as a deep exegete, but rather directly from Scripture and my personal thoughts regarding my life. Maybe you too will find this to be true, challenging or an absent need in your life. May the Lord help us all onward in the faith, as He will do since He is the “author and perfecter of our faith.” (Heb. 12:2)
Should we not do that which strikes the head of Satan most directly and most powerfully? Should we not do this in this most perfect way, through Jesus Christ and His propitiation, being worked in us a willful conformity to be humbly sanctified, that we wage war, not only in our defense, but our offense against “the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:12) “Therefore”, shall we not, “take up the whole armor of God”? (Eph. 6:13) Shall we not rather choose to be like our Lord, who left for us “an example, so that you (we) might follow in His steps.” (1 Peter 2:21) And what are these steps? Do they not begin and end with humility, love, self-control and true grace being ever in submission to God and compelled to prayer? “He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in His mouth. When he was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but continued entrusting Himself to Him who judges justly.” (1 Peter 2:22, 23) “Nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” (Matt. 26:39) “In the days of His flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to Him who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence. Although He as a Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered.” (Heb. 5:7, 8)
Should this not be our pattern? Should this not be our life, that is, if we dare profess to be Christian? Should we not heed the Word that we lay claim to? How long will we go unaffected, absent of growth and fruit, in denial of the Word we treat so disrespectfully by ignoring it as if it were a stale moldy crumb?
“He said, ‘In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, “Give me justice against my adversary.”
For a while he refused, but afterwards he said to himself, “Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.”’
And the Lord said, ‘Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, He will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?’” Luke 18:2-8
I don’t know about you, but these verses leave me asking myself: Is the Lord seeing true faith in me today? Not faith in self-works, past-hopes, religious-rituals, and the like, but true saving, deep and biblically true faith? Jesus, who although had close fellowship with His friends, knew that the place of intimacy in walking with His Father and true obedience, was found in choosing to get alone with Him, away from all, in prayer. Does my personal life resemble the private ‘prayer meetings’ with my heavenly Father, in Christ and by the Spirit, in reality and truth? Or am I acting in mere rote and intellectual accent that bypasses application, submission and obedience? Do I get alone with Him or does my life pattern look more like the sleeping disciples? If I were to perish or Christ were to come back today, would He find a faith that is full of active and growing grace (Titus 2:22-14) in me? Or would He find me locked in fear, or ignorant of His Word, or scrolling through thousands upon thousands of pointless screens, websites and opinions of spiritually dead men? Maybe He would find me sleeping at the helm or searching for the next small piece of false hope or fleshly hell-bound entertainment? How will He find me?
Should I not, maybe starting this very moment, heed the message of Christ and be like the widow woman in “her continual coming”, relentless, awake, determined and on point? Shall I not admit my current state and turn (repent) once again unto the living God? Shall I not turn and be heeled? Shall I not heed the proverb, “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.” (Prov. 6:10, 11) Shall I wait until it’s too late to be told, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” (Jer. 8:20)
For until I take responsibility for my lack of sanctification, my laziness, my lack of zeal, my lack of asking God to be made more holy, I will never be at peace and with lasting joy. For although knowledge of God and His ways is a good thing, if there be no application, I am but a fool. And though the power and working of sanctification and faith be of the Lord, the responsibility to obedience, seeking God in greater measure and prayer is mine.
I wonder if all the careless words, both audibly, mentally and posted online, and all the hours spent staring at a plastic screen will not condemn us when we find ourselves, not at the judgement seat of Christ, but at the Great White Throne judgement being told, “Be away from Me, I never knew you.” (Matt. 7:21-23) Profession that is absent of obedience leads to deception, and left unrepentant, eternal death.
Lord, may it never be – apprehend my affections this day, apprehend my carelessness, my pride and my selfish desires and make me into a vessel for Your glory, Your eternal usage, to be Yours and Yours alone. Amen.
“Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?”