The United Kingdom is going through difficult times, with another Brexit deadline having passed, a General Election looming, and much uncertainty and division in the nation. One positive result of all this is that there has been an increasing recognition of the need to pray. Small groups have been springing up around the country to pray for the nation, as well as larger prayer initiatives and individuals praying at home. It is prayer that will make the difference.
Today’s verse is from the parable that Jesus told his disciples about the persistent widow. This woman kept pestering an uncaring, unjust judge, pleading for justice against her adversary. The judge finally gets fed up with her continuing to bother him, and he grants her request. Jesus tells this story, not to equate the uncaring judge with His Father, but to say that if this is how an unjust judge reacts, how much more will God bring about justice for His chosen ones who cry out to Him day and night! He was emphasising the need for persistence and perseverance in prayer, telling the disciples that they should always pray and not give up.
Another scripture about perseverance that I have been reminded of recently is 2 Kings 13:15-19. In it, Elisha tells Jehoash, King of Israel, to shoot an arrow out of the window, proclaiming that it is the Lord’s arrow of victory. He then tells the King to strike the ground with the arrows. Jehoash did so three times and then stopped. Elisha was angry that he had stopped. He admonished him, saying that if he had continued striking the ground five or six times, his enemies would have been completely defeated.
I sensed the Lord speaking to me personally through this passage and challenging me to keep going, persisting in prayer, even if at times it feels as if we are praying about the same thing again and again. Let’s do as Jesus says, and ‘always pray and not give up’. Whether we are praying for personal situations, our families, or for the wider picture in our nation, God hears our prayers and will answer them. ‘The prayer of a righteous man [or woman] is powerful and effective’ (James 5:16).
Prayer: Lord, please forgive me for the times when I have not persevered in prayer. Thank You that You always hear our prayers. Please teach me to pray according to Your will, especially as I pray for our nation. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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