Daily Readings & Thought for September 25th. “ALWAYS PRAY AND NOT LOSE HEART”
In this parable, at the start of Luke ch. 18, Jesus illustrates the importance of persistence in prayer. We must become increasingly conscious that God’s power is such that he sees and knows all. David puts it this way, “O LORD … you discern my thoughts from afar.” [Psa. 139 v.2]. This parable challenges us to consider answers to prayer. Do we pray seeking to know God’s will for us, or are we only thinking and praying about our own needs?
Early this month we read of the traumas in Paul’s life. How urgent his prayers must have been in the many difficult situations he endured, but his Lord led him through them all. Soon we will read of Jesus, in earnest prayer to His Father: he does not get the answer he seeks, but the Father’s will must be done. [Ch. 22 v.41,42]
Our way of thinking might cause us to wonder why the Lord led Paul into all his difficulties; but then we look at the outcome and realize that this causes faith to grow. So in this parable we see the woman’s faith was, in the end, rewarded. The ‘punch line’ at the end of the parable is that we should “always pray and not lose heart” [v.7]
The climax is a question [v.8], “when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Will he find those who really know the value of prayer, who pray to the uttermost for a faith that grows. Faith of this calibre will enable us to cope with all situations as this world is falling apart. We must strive to be among those who do not lose heart?
Look at the next parable; it is about two different types of men who went into the Temple to pray. One was telling the Almighty what he did, but of the one whose prayer was heard, Jesus says, he “went down to his house justified,” and makes the point, “the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” [v.14]. Yes, we ought always to pray – in humility of spirit – even more as we see scripture telling us our Master’s return will be at an hour he is not expected – all the more reason for us to be among “his elect who cry to him day and night” [v.7].