Luke 18: 1

Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not become discouraged.

This is a good passage of scripture and an important one. Jesus was teaching his disciples about prayer. There is the appearance of two ideas in this verse: prayer and discouragement. I would like to unify those two ideas today and I believe Jesus will agree with this take on his teachings. Clearly one idea is that we ought to pray. The second admonition is, do not become discouraged. I would like to suggest the two are related.

Many of you know that I am the administrator of a prayer team. Our pray-ers are the most tremendous group of people and I am so proud to be associated with them. They move mountains and I do not say that lightly. We have, however, lost a few people for whom we prayed. I am not saying God didn’t answer our prayer. That is a whole other topic, but how can we know if the person chose to move to heaven. Regardless, it is certainly a challenge carrying prayer requests to God because, in truth, you carry them for a moment. We have gotten emotionally involved with the people represented by those requests. No one ever knows how concerned this group of dedicated people is about the people on the prayer list. They truly care. Can you imagine carrying so many intense problems? It would break us if not for the care of the Lord.

One of the prayer warriors communicated to me how the prayer we send up for others sustains us. It is not as if our glass becomes half empty and the Lord refills it. Every time we pray, He is overflowing our cup. I do not wish to convey that praying for others is burdensome. Instead, I wish to tell you that prayer is a revitalizing tonic. And, not only intercessory prayer like this. I believe that prayer, itself, is healing for the soul, and rejuvenation for the body. We are told time and again to pray, even to pray unceasingly. I believe the reason we should pray, the reason we are encouraged over and over to pray is because there is life and healing in prayer. But then, of course there is. When we talk with God, we connect with Him. Those lines of communication always carry life and light in them. Jesus is the light and the life so when we connect our spirits to his through prayer, his substance travels across those lines.

Here is what I am trying to say, prayer keeps you from being discouraged. There is encouragement is the substance of time spent in prayer. It is good for your soul when you pray, even if you are praying for someone else, perhaps even more so. I, like Paul, want you to pray frequently because I know you will feel better. Spiritual and emotional energy will be restored to you. I want you to pray because it is good for you and I believe that is part of what Jesus wished for you to glean from this passage. When you read the parable which follows, I think you will see how praying keeps you built up and confident. It helps you to keep believing. It will help your body, your mind, and your spirit. Pray because it is good for you and makes you feel good. Pray and be encouraged.

And by the way, send your prayer requests to Ivey Ministries Prayer Requests by clicking here.

Never Give Up

Luke 18: 1

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.

The word of the Lord to you today is that you should not give up. Jesus has sent you this word of encouragement so that you will know that God hears your pleas.

You can go to Luke, chapter 18 and read the parable but the essence is that this parable is about justice and prayer. Jesus is teaching us to be persistent in prayer. Wait a minute, you say, Mark 11: 24 tells us that when we pray we should believe we have already received our petition and it shall be granted us. Why then should I continue in prayer when the Father has already heard my request and granted it? Good question.

Some prayers actually take importuning, or persistence. Do you remember what happened to Daniel when sought the understanding of a vision he received? An angel came to him and said, “Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. But, the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia,” (Daniel 10: 12 – 13).

There is so much rich content in that quote alone that we could be kept busy for days. The point for today, though, is that Daniel did receive his answers. He persisted until the angel appeared.

We are in a different situation today in that Jesus has the victory and we have the Holy Spirit. Notice, however,  that in today’s verse Jesus is the speaker as well as in Mark 11: 24. So what is going on here? You have probably prayed a prayer before and not received the evidence of your answer immediately. That does not logically mean, however, that your prayer was not answered the moment you prayed, hence Mark 11: 24. The angel told Daniel that his prayers were heard and answered the very first day. Therefore, we should never lose heart and, as Jesus encouraged, we should never give up. You can continue praying for the same thing over and over again, but we should pray according to Jesus’ direction from the book of Mark, believing that at the very first moment we prayed, God heard us and sent the answer on its way to us. We stand in Thanksgiving seeing from Daniel’s experience and from faith in Jesus’ words that our answer is in route. Give your angels continued authority in your life by speaking words of faith. You can always inquire of the Holy Spirit as to the need for any prayer other than thanksgiving and positive affirmations. He will lead you. It’s his job. Stand firm believing and never give up. You are not forsaken.