Persevering Prayer

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“And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?  And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.  I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him, as many as he needeth.” – Luke 11:5-8

Keep at it.

Keep coming to the throne of grace.

Keep praying. It’s not in vain. God hears every prayer.

The scenario is simple: it’s late in the midnight hour and someone has dropped in unexpectedly.  The problem with the scenario is due to the lateness of the hour and the unexpected nature of the visit there was not enough time to gather resources to care for this visitor.

The proposed solution: knock on the neighbor’s door who is a friend and ask for some help.  The problem with the solution: again, stating the obvious, it’s midnight.  We are in bed.  Are you trying to wake up the kids with all that knocking and yelling out there?!  “I cannot rise and give thee.”

Now, I don’t know about this neighbor, but waking up at midnight is not exactly a welcomed intrusion into my otherwise restful night.  Then, to have the audacity to show up banging on my door and asking for food at that time… well, that’s a whole other story!  But hospitality was central to the culture of the day and was expected to be doled out accordingly.

Also, in those days, sleeping arrangements were generally shared by the whole family.  Doors had big, heavy bolts that clanged and banged if moved.  To get to the bread one would have to step over kids, make noise to get the bread, and bang and clang the door opened and shut again.  At this point, the whole house could easily be disturbed.

Jesus stated that the neighbor eventually will give his friend what he is asking but not because he is a friend.  He will only get up out the bed because of his “importunity;” or his persistence.

Jesus uses this scenario to teach us the power of persevering prayer.  We cannot give up so easily.  We have been afforded the privilege to come before the throne of grace “that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need,” (Hebrews 4:16).  We must be persistent in that privilege.

One’s lack of persistence in prayer can be tied to a lack of faith.  Jesus told the parable of the unjust judge and the widow to illustrate His point: “Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me,” (Luke 18:5).  Jesus then asked, “Shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?  I tell you that he will avenge them speedily.  Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:7-8, emphasis mine).

A powerful key component of prayer is not to give up too quickly.

“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us:” 1 John 5:14

“In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.” Psalm 18:6

“Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;” Romans 12:12

Modified excerpt taken from 4 Keys to Powerful Prayer

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Heaven in My Heart

As I read over the page, speaking of the “two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God” found in Exodus 31:18, my fingers etched the outlining of the words, and a feeling of awe and wonder came over me at the reality of it all.

Moses held in his hands that which was written by the finger of our Holy God. To say it is amazing would be an inadequate attempt at best to describe the wonder of what that must have been like to experience. But it didn’t stop me from still wondering: “What was that like to hold those very tablets?”

As I kept reading and following his story, in my mind, I saw him carrying those tablets, engraved by God as he descended the mount (Exodus 32:16), and my heart was quickly reminded of the promise spoken in Jeremiah of the time when God Himself said, “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Jeremiah 31:33).

And I thought, as much as I would love to hold that piece of our Christian history physically in my hands, I now have in my heart, through the power and indwelling of His Holy Spirit, God’s testimony, His very Word in the innermost part of my being.

Yes, my eyes would have loved to see and behold those external declarations of His Testimony, but my soul is ever so grateful for the internal and eternal work God’s Word and saving grace has done deep inside of me. No wonder the psalmist wrote, “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11).

It is in our hearts where we establish our faith and believe in the One who called us and loved us (Romans 10:10). The heart is where we hold our greatest treasures (Matthew 6:21). So, to have a piece of Him there in the recesses of my being; to have His Word, this piece of heaven living in me, I am still overtaken with awe and the wonder of it all.

As frail as humanity is and as short as we come from His glory (Romans 3:23), we are honored creatures to have the grace of this New Covenant go through the lineage of Israel and trickle-down upon us and flood our hearts when we receive Christ as our Savior.

In Mark, John the Baptist spoke, saying, “I indeed baptize you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost” (1:8). At the baptism of Jesus, John witnessed “the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mark 1:10-11).

Jesus Christ is the one sent from heaven to dwell in our hearts. He is that Word made flesh (John 1:14). Through Him, the Father will send “the Holy Ghost. . . in my name,” Jesus said (John 14:26; see also VSS 16-17; Acts 1:5) to comfort us, to dwell in us, and change our lives forever.

There is no better time than now to seek a whole heart transformation. Deep inside, we know we need Him. Nothing else will satisfy.

In the anguish of his sins, David cried out in desperation, saying, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10). A heart that is devoted to God, a heart renewed in Him; a heart that cradles and nurtures His Word and has His Spirit within them, a heart who has the Son – they are the ones who “shall be my people” and He will be their “God” (Jeremiah 31:33).  

It may not be a piece of history in my hands, but I’ll take heaven in my heart any day.

Copyright © Word For Life Says.com (Sharing any posts or lessons can only be done through the share buttons provided on this site from the original posts, lessons, and articles only. You can reblog from the original posts only using the reblog button provided, or share using the share buttons provided from these social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, etc., and they must be shared from the original posts only. All other repostings are prohibited. Posts and other items of interest found on this site MAY NOT BE COPIED AND PASTED, downloaded, uploaded, etc to another website or entity not listed (physical or electronic).  See COPYRIGHT PAGE for more details.