A friend recently challenged me by asking why I hadn’t been ‘banging on the doors of heaven’ regarding a healing need that I have. My back’s a bit dodgy, but I’ve learned to take care of it, sit carefully in a good chair, sleep on a decent mattress, and take care when working.
I suppose the answer to her question was that there were other things that seemed more pressing and important to seek God about and, also, that I’d got used to living with ‘a bad back’. I’ve been mulling this over ever since and realised (is it just a British cultural thing?) I didn’t like to nag God about it. After all I’d asked nicely once or twice, and after that decided to keep quiet, as it seemed I was ignored.
Don’t get me wrong I’m capable of pacing the floor in desperate, passionate intercession. So why not over this? Remember blind Bartimaeus who just kept on shouting out to Jesus for mercy even though everyone told him to shut up (Mark 10:46-52).
The passage today is Jesus speaking to His disciples regarding persistent prayer and not giving up. ‘So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?’ (Luke 18:7b-8).
I was reminded of the story in Genesis 32 of Jacob wrestling with God all night and refusing to let go until he’d received God’s blessing. Then I also remembered how the apostle Paul exhorts us to ‘Pray without ceasing’ (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and ‘devote ourselves to prayer’ (Colossians 4:2). I’m feeling challenged about this, are you?
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for not always persisting in prayer; for not trusting you enough to push on and push through to a place of peace; and for not always really believing that you want to heal, not only everyone else, but also me. Thank You for the examples You’ve given us in Your word of people who had faith to believe You for healing and blessing. Please help me, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, to pray in faith. Amen.
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