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Living on Yesterday’s Prayers

February 11, 2010

Luke 18 begins with Jesus sharing the parable of the persistent widow and the unjust judge:   

18 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. 3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ 4 For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’ ” 6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? , Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” [1] 

Jesus began this parable with the intent to help us see we should always pray and not lose heart.  In thinking on these verses today, I was struck with the thought of how often we live on yesterday’s prayers.  I wonder if we do that more often than we think.  With all the demands of life, and the self-imposed busy-ness, is it all too common that we neglect doing the most important things? 

Remember when Jesus was in the garden before going to the cross?  He asked Peter, and the disciples with Him if they could pray for one hour.  Interestingly, the scriptures tell us they were sleepy, and could not stay awake (too busy discussing who would be greatest in the Kingdom, I suppose; and worn out with the debate [Luke 22:24]).  Little did they know that one of the greatest events in history was upon them.  Jesus later told them that if they had stayed awake and prayed they could have avoided temptation (Luke 22:39-46).  In fact, it is here that He tells us that it is the spirit who is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matt 26:41).  Isn’t it funny how this is still the case today?  Even with the Resurrection, and the new life we have in Christ, we still have to deal with a flesh that wants to sleep and be lazy.  All the while we are not realizing that some of the greatest events of our lives are passing us by.  

In speaking on prayer, Jesus says that even a widow woman who is persistent with an unjust judge makes more headway than someone who doesn’t pray, though they may be the elect of God.  Jesus, in referring to prayer, says that God is nothing like the unrighteous judge.  So, if the widow woman can get an answer from a judge who doesn’t care, HOW MUCH MORE should the elect of God get answers to their prayers from a God who cares deeply for His children!  In fact, Jesus says that God will answer them speedily.  And then he asks the question:  “… when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”  This implies that faith speeds up the process even more.  Wow!  

Are we living on yesterday’s prayers?  My question is simple: Are we neglecting one of the most important aspects of our day, simply because we aren’t sure it really works?  Are we forgetting that God is a good God?  Are we simply surviving our everyday activities, still living on yesterday’s blessings, when we have access to the throne room of God everyday, and can have a fresh supply of the Spirit today?  

In teaching on prayer, in Luke 11:3, Jesus says, “Give us this day, our daily bread.”  Remember the children of Israel in the wilderness?  God gave them manna (bread from heaven) for everyday.  Interestingly, they had to go get it “everyday.”  God has a fresh supply for us today, my friend.  Are you trying to survive on stale manna, or yesterday’s prayers?  We have a good Father who delights in giving His children the Kingdom, everyday.  Don’t live on yesterday’s blessings, when according to Hebrews 4, we can confidently enter God’s throne room and receive grace and mercy, today!

[1] The Holy Bible: English standard version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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