Friday, January 9, 2015

Pray Always, and Do Not Faint

I learned this lesson recently and want to pass it on so maybe it would encourage others.   It's one of those things we may have to learn many times, but this time I think it got through to me in a new way.
Luke 18:1: And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
I faint easily in this sense.  I don't persist in prayer, especially when I'm praying for something that feels "impossible."  I can tell myself many times that God is the God of the impossible and still not act on it as if I believe it.

Recently I had to recognize four "impossible" prayers that God answered, which have certainly improved my prayer stamina and even got me praying for more impossible things than those four. 

I can't go into much detail about these incidents unfortunately because they concern other people, but maybe I can hint at the situations without giving them away.  A financially struggling relative, an out of control teenager, a fatherless child and a rocky marriage.   One of the prayers was the fervent desperate doing of another relative of mine though I added my own to it;  another was shared with this relative and two of them were mine.  Literally within a day of fervent prayer the financially struggling one was backed to start a business that is now starting to take off a few months later;  over a few months of prayer the unruly teenager decided he didn't like being in juvenile detention and found better things to do with his time;  the fatherless child was given a father within weeks of the prayer for him, the rocky marriage was nearly miraculously healed, also over weeks.  I could also mention some other answers but these stand out dramatically enough to be a real encouragement to me. 

I'm SO grateful for these answered prayers and SO encouraged to pray more and not faint.  Want to continue to pray for those same situations too, though, knowing how rapidly things can degenerate if we leave them to fallen human nature.    But now I have an even rockier marriage in mind I've never had the stamina to pray for consistently, and half a dozen other family type problems it would be a huge relief to see resolved.  I even feel encouraged enough to pray for big political issues with more fervency and hope.

This is a praise report, a statement of gratitude and I hope a message to encourage us all to pray and not faint.  God really is listening and really does answer prayer when we pray in His will and for things that further His Kingdom.