Last night I joined the prayer service at the Melrose House of Prayer, and a good friend of mine, Pastor Sam Acevedo, preached on this verse: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer…” (Romans 12:12, NIV). You can guess which phrase he focused on–be faithful in prayer. He actually was really on fire at the end and led us in a very fervent time of prayer to close the meeting. It was great.
Be faithful in prayer. For those of you who have increased your praying during these 10 Days, I want to say thank you. Good for you. It is good to take time to have a special focus for a prescribed period. God will honor your prayers. Hopefully, you enjoyed praying more and were able to draw near to the Lord in a way that was meaningful for you.
Sam encouraged us to continue to pray, to be faithful. God loves faithfulness. He works through our diligent faithful efforts in any endeavor, but especially in prayer. I hope you might pray a bit more having done so for the 10 Days. It may not be as often as the past 10 days, but perhaps it will inspire to make some more time in your schedule.
When Jesus teaches on prayer in the Gospel of Luke, He always associates it with perseverance, being faithful. In Luke 11, where Luke gives a shorter version of the Lord’s prayer, Jesus follows it up immediately with the story of the man asking his friend for a loaf of bread for a guest at midnight. The friend says no, but finally gives in because of the man’s persistence. The New Living Translation gets the verb tense right when it states it this way: “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Luke 11:10)
Then in Luke 18, He tells the disciples a story so that they will always pray and not lose heart–the story of the unjust judge and the persistent widow. I am glad Jesus gives us these stories. He understands that lots of time prayer seems like it is not doing any good. It can get boring. You can feel like God is not answering. So your Lord is telling you to keep at it! Be faithful in prayer. Do not give up. Everyone who keeps asking will receive. Everyone who keeps on knocking the door will eventually open up. Everyone who keeps seeking will indeed find. Paul says it this way: “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” (Galatians 6:9, NASB)
May you not grow weary! May you keep on asking! Jesus said that God will bring about justice to those of His people who cry to Him day and night (Luke 18:7). Maybe you can pray right when you get up, even if it is short and just saying “hello, Father” and asking for His will to be done today, or giving thanks for a new day. Maybe you can keep praying when you go for a walk or work out or right before you go to sleep at night. Every prayer is meaningful to God.
Proverbs 15:8 says, “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but the prayer of the upright is His delight” (NASB). Amen!
I remember the joy of a brother sharing with us in the 1990’s how his father had finally come to faith after 20 years of prayer for him by their family. On Sunday I shared the story of how a sister’s father finally came to faith after about the same amount of time of witnessing and prayer. Being faithful in prayer resulted in great joy!
Father, help me to believe that my prayer is a delight to You. Please make me more faithful in prayer. Help me to persevere when it seems like nothing is happening. Help me as well to connect with You in a way where I sense Your presence with me. Thank you that every prayer I pray has meaning to You as it does to me! I want to walk more closely with You, in Jesus’ name.
Amen! I love you all.