“Persistent Prayer”

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Parable of the Persistent Widow and the Unjust Judge

Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man.  Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ” Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”  Luke 18:1-8 (NKJV)

This is a parable of contrast not comparison!

Our heavenly Father is not like the unjust judge.

Parable of the Persistent Friend

And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.  Luke 11:5-8 (NKJV)

This is another parable of contrast not comparison!

Our Heavenly Father is never reluctant to meet the needs of His children.

Jesus’ Admonition to Ask, Seek, and Knock

So, I say to you, ask and keep on asking, and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking, and you will find; knock and keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking [persistently], receives; and he who keeps on seeking [persistently], finds; and to him who keeps on knocking [persistently], the door will be opened.  Luke 11:9-10 (AMP)

The Father’s Desire to Give Good Gifts to His Children:

Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will [instead] give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will [instead] give him a snake?  If you then, evil (sinful by nature) as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give what is good and advantageous to those who keep on asking Him.  Matthew 7:9-11 (AMP)
(This is the parallel passage to Luke 11:11-13)

* ASK AND KEEP ON ASKING!
* SEEK AND KEEP ON SEEKING!
* KNOCK AND KEEP ON KNOCKING!

What amazing answers to prayer have you seen due to persistence?

What seemingly “impossible” prayer requests can we bring to the Father today?

“…With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  Matthew 9:26


“For with God nothing will be impossible.”  Luke 1:37


“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh.  Is there anything too hard for me?”  Jeremiah 32:27

Bible passages from Amplified Version and New King James Version

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O Lord how long-The Prayer of Habakkuk

O Lord, how long shall I cry, And You will not hear?

The global pandemic, upheaval and turmoil in the nations, people suffering for their faith, religious persecution, violence against innocent people, unrighteousness, godlessness, injustice, and other wicked deeds remind me of the prayer of a man in the Bible named Habakkuk.

How long, Lord, must I call for help,
    but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
  Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted
Habakkuk 1:1-4 (NIV)

Habakkuk was a man who lived during the kingdoms of Judah and Israel around 600 BCE. He wrote his prophecies before the Babylon invasion. God used Habakkuk to warn the people of Judah (Jews) to repent and turned from their sinful ways.

Habakkuk grappled with God’s economy of justice. “He finds it inconceivable that God could use and evil pagan nation to judge His people. However, God uses a vision to convince Habakkuk that His ways are right” [1]


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I felt the burden of Habakkuk to have justice in the midst of wickedness.

Habakkuk was not the only one in the Bible who had struggles with God’s justice. In the book of Psalms, the writer expressed his heart:

How long, Lord, will the wicked,
    how long will the wicked be jubilant?  They pour out arrogant words; all the evildoers are full of boasting.
They crush your people, Lord;  they oppress your inheritance.
They slay the widow and the foreigner;  they murder the fatherless.
They say, “The Lord does not see; the God of Jacob takes no notice.”
Psalm 94:3-7

Then God replied to Habakkuk in Chapter 2:2-3

“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.  For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come, It will not tarry
.”

Then God spoke to Habakkuk about sure judgments to the wicked:

“Woe to him who covets evil gain for his house…
Woe to him who builds a town with bloodshed, who establish a city by iniquity…
Habakkuk 2:9-15

And other woes, and judgments…

“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the water covers the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14

“But the Lord is in His holy temple, let all the earth keep silence before Him.” Habakkuk 2:20

Then, Habakkuk responded to the Lord in Chapter 3: 2

Lord, I have heard Your speech and was afraid;
O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years!
In the midst of the years make it known;
In wrath remember mercy.

God assured Habakkuk that He would surely bring justice.  Just as  Habakkuk realized that justice needs to be tempered by mercy, I also need to pray for God’s mercy for those who are involved in wickedness, corruption, deceit, and unrighteousness – for God to have mercy on their souls.  Surely God will bring justice to the wicked, but He is also merciful, waiting for them to repent.

Back in Psalm 94 it says,

Take notice, you senseless ones among the people;
    you fools, when will you become wise?
Does he who fashioned the ear not hear? Does he who formed the eye not see? Does he who formed the eye not see? He who instructs the nations, shall He not correct? Psalm 94: 8-10

When Habakkuk heard the response of the Lord God, he was at peace trusting that God will do what He was supposed to do – to bring judgment and justice to the wicked.

“Though the fig tree may not blossom
Nor fruit be on the vines… Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation.”  Habakkuk 3:17-19

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A couple of weeks ago, we experienced a severe thunderstorm in our area. There was lots of heavy rain, very loud thundering, and the fiercest lightning I have ever experienced in my life! I was trembling in fear and realized the awesome power of God. It reminded me of the experience of the people of Israel in the Old Testament when they received the Ten Commandments on tablets of stone.

Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off.  Exodus 20:18

The sharp, loud thunder and fierce lightning were for me a demonstration of the awesome power of God! I felt as if God was saying, He is still sovereign and in control, and has the power to do whatever is right for Him to do. I felt like a worm, and was reminded that I am not the judge, and should not fret about the wickedness and injustice I see in the world. The Lord God in heaven has all the power and might to bring about justice and righteousness in His own way and in His right time.

Prayer:

Sovereign Lord God, You are awesome and powerful! We praise and  thank You for Your mercy and grace. Help us wait upon your right timing to bring your righteousness and justice in the earth.

(1)Habakkuk; The Complete Jewish Study Bible,

(2)Scripture verses taken from Bible Gateway

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Not Fair!

Reading: 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

Key Verse: v4 – “who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God”

Title: Not fair!

“It’s not fair!” cried my heart when we received the results of a virus test.  “Why not me Lord, my husband does not deserve this. He is a good man, he prays a lot for sick people, for those who are grieving and for many who are in need.”  I thought my husband did not deserve this illness that has wreaked havoc in many countries of the world.  Many have suffered, lost their jobs, their livelihood, and their loved ones.  As I lamented and complained to the Lord that morning, my Bible reading happened to be in Hebrews.

During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. (Hebrews 5:7 NIV) 

After reading these verses, I realized that, yes, my husband did not deserve to suffer from this illness, but neither did Jesus deserved the punishment of death on the cross. Jesus was a perfect man, but He still suffered humiliation, affliction, and death on the cross. It was not fair either.  We may feel that we do not deserve bad things in life, but Jesus reminded us that,

“No one is good—except God alone.  (Luke 18:19 NIV)

With the unwanted diagnosis, the next few days were difficult for my husband and me.  However, we saw the hand of God at work, getting us through each day.  We are grateful that in our case, the symptoms were mild, and that God saw us through.  

Later on, when we heard of other friends who have experienced the same illness, we were able to pray for them and encourage them. We saw God has a purpose in every situation, whether good or bad, to cause all things to work together for good. (See Romans 8:28).  

Reflection: Trust God when things in life seem not fair. God has His purpose and reason in every situation.

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