I have been having a number of repeat moments, dare I say deja vu episodes , over the last several months.
Moments where I have had to stop and say, “Didn’t this happen to me before a few years ago?”
It’s almost as if the Lord has been resetting some things for me, thankfully, and the outcomes have been more favorable.
The moment that happened this morning was no different. I found myself sitting at the table enjoying one of my favorite breakfast foods, cornmeal porridge, courtesy of a request I made of my mom before arriving to her new home in Florida. I was also sipping on my favorite tea, Organic Pomegranate White Tea and had my Bible and journal open. (By the way, this weather is awesome. Who would’ve known that I would be in a sundress and sandals just days before the new year?!)
Rewind to 7 years ago where I found myself at the table in my mom’s home drinking a hot beverage, with my Bible and a journal along with a devotional study I was doing on women in the Bible. Unfortunately, it wasn’t warm outside that day, lol!
7 years ago, the woman I was studying was named. Today, however, I was studying one who was unnamed, but perhaps one we could all identify with in some way.
Found in Luke 18:1-8 and referred to as the persistent widow, this woman had some admirable qualities. It would only be right for me to take proper notes. I learned a number of things, but 3 specific things I wanted to highlight as it relates to prayer:
I sensed the Lord wanting to reset some things in my own life as it related to prayer. This time I was listening.
Have you ever prayed for or asked God for something and He has yet to answer? (If you haven’t, you and I need to chat.)
You’ve prayed about it so much that perhaps you’ve just stopped praying, believing that it’s just not going to happen. Instead of things getting better, they seem to get worse and quiet frankly, the situation looks pretty bleak.
There are two specific prayers that I have had, two really big asks, that the Lord has not answered. One of these prayers has been something I have prayed about for more than half of my 36 years of living. I had simply grown tired and weary of asking. If I am honest, sometimes I wonder if He even heard me.
it’s not like He hasn’t heard many of my other prayers. I have journals full of APs (answered prayers) as proof so I know He doesn’t have a hearing problem.
He knows my heart’s desire concerning these two major and very sensitive areas of my heart. I just decided that there was no point in praying about them anymore because when He was ready (and if He decided to), He would grant them.
But this morning, I was challenged again in these 8 verses of text as the Lord was calling me alongside Himself and showing me a different perspective.
Jesus told this parable to His disciples (and to you and I) for a few reasons, but the most important one is indicated right in verse 1:
That they should always pray and never give up. ~Luke 18:1, NLT
This morning I was reminded that my prayer (and yours)–the very thing you may be waiting for God to act on–has very little to do with the request.
Hear me: I am NOT saying that the Lord isn’t concerned about what you have asked.
What I am saying is that in our praying, it is more about what happens to and in us in the process of praying. It’s about how He begins to change the requests in accordance with what He desires for us, which if you didn’t know is always His very best. (Read Jeremiah 29:11 if you don’t believe me.)
It’s about how our heart changes, how our faith increases and how it helps us to become more bold in our ask of Him.
The circumstances under which this women’s ask is presented are unfavorable–difficult at best. The one who had the power to grant her prayer request was a judge who:
neither feared God nor cared about people. ~ Luke 18:2, NLT
Jesus set it up in a way that the judge really had no obligation, reason or desire to act on the woman’s behalf or to honor her request.
To me, as I mentioned above, the conditions under which I had been praying about these two requests have been unfavorable, bleak at best.
Yet, in contrast to this unjust judge, the One to whom we petition, ask and pray to, does desire to act on our behalf. He cares about and loves us. If He didn’t, He wouldn’t have sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for us. He wants us to give Him opportunities to act on our behalf, especially when things seem impossible, unfavorable or bleak.
Have you given Him opportunities, by always praying, to do so or have you given up? Unfortunately, more recently I had.
A widow…came to him repeatedly. ~Luke 18:3, NLT
The first thing I took note of was this verse. She didn’t allow her circumstances to hinder her from continuing to ask. I had to ask myself: Have I come to God repeatedly? Have I been consistent with praying about the two things I had been waiting for?
I had…at one point, but f I am honest, I wasn’t consistent anymore, mostly because I allowed the circumstances to dictate my prayers, or lack thereof.
She is wearing me out with her constant requests. ~Luke 18:5, NLT
This was the second thing I noted. As described in the beginning, she was not just a widow. She was a persistent widow. The judge granted her request not because he feared God or cared about her, but because she was driving him crazy and wearing him out (v. 5).
I had to ask myself: Have I gotten to this point in my prayers with God? Not that we could ever wear God out, but I think this is sometimes how we approach Him, thinking somehow we can.
The woman’s persistence speaks of a desperation she had to get the attention of this judge. Do we have this same desperation for our Righteous judge who desires greatly to give His children good gifts?
The last thing I noted was that this woman was radical. Jesus said this:
But when the Son of Man returns, how many will He find on the earth who have faith?~ Luke 18:8, NLT
When was the last time you cried out to God day and night, literally?
Faith is radical. It requires you to be made a fool at times, to be deemed crazy because you refuse to let up or give up, even when the circumstances and conditions of your ask are nearly impossible.
How will you be found when Jesus returns?
Will you be found as this woman was with her prayers, having faith?
Perhaps your prayer life needs a little C.P.R. to revive it again.
I challenge you to go back to those things you have been waiting for God to do, those things you have been praying about and maybe given up on as I did.
Be desperate enough to ask again and to keep asking Him.
Don’t give up.
Be consistent, persistent and radical with your prayers.
A C.P.R. prayer is prayer at its best.
Scripture references: The Holy Bible (NLT)
Photo credit: canva.com, Diana Simumpande-unsplash.com, @Cristian_Newman-Unsplash.com
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