Pray, and not faint

Pray, and not faint

Have you become wearied and ceased praying? Why do some believers stop praying? Could it be because we live in a world where we have come to expect almost immediate satisfaction of our needs and when God does not immediately grant us what we asked, we grow weary and ceased to pray?

In Luke 18:1, the Bible tells us that Jesus “told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.”

The key point that Jesus emphasizes in this verse is that we ought always to pray. There is no reason why we should cease praying. Jesus underlines the importance of being constant in prayer by telling His disciples a parable regarding a widow’s persistent plea to an unrighteous judge for justice against her adversary. He concluded that even the unrighteous judge would eventually accede to the persistent plea of the widow – how much more will we receive from a God who loves and cares for us?

Earlier in Luke 11:5-13, Jesus related the account of a man seeking the urgent assistance of his friend for three loaves to be loaned to him so that he could provide for his guests, and how the friend would eventually loan him all the loaves that he needs just because of the persistence of the man. Jesus concludes with this teaching: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! (Matt 7:7-11)

In at least two occasions, Jesus taught His disciples that they ought always to pray – and not give up or quit praying just because there is no apparent answer from God. In Luke 18:1, He said that men ought always to pray and not faint. To faint is to become tired, wearied and lacking in energy – implying the likelihood of giving up – perhaps our faith in God or our hope in God. Jesus taught them to be persistent and constant in prayer – and never to give up this practice of prayer. Why? Because “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Rom 8:32) God has already given us the greatest gift – “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). Why would He not freely give us all things that we need? O ye of little faith.

Why then does not God grant us immediate deliverance?  2 Peter 3:9: “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” The point that Jesus makes is that God will do His part in due course but when he avenges, will man remain faithful and in constant prayer – or will man have become wearied and fainted?  We have many struggles in life – some small and with temporal consequences; others may be significant and with permanent consequences. God’s promise is that He will deliver us as we remain constant and persistent in prayer. In many instances, God’s deliverance may be immediate (2 Tim 3:11; 4:17) while in other instances, God’s deliverance may be of a permanent nature – as in His coming to destroy Jerusalem or in the day of Judgment when all will be judged (2 Thess. 1:7-10). God’s ultimate deliverance is such that He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. We need therefore to submit ourselves to His will – as Jesus Himself was submissive to His Father’s will in Matt 26:39 – and be patient while remaining constant in prayer.      
By: Steven Chan