The prayer of heaven
Luke 18: 1-8 “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ 4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’” 6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”
Never stop praying. If you have, start it up again. Make a determined effort to pray every day and throughout the day. Stay up late and pray. Get up early and pray. Spend the night in prayer. Fast things so you can pray more.
For when you are praying you are hoping. You are waiting. You are expecting God to answer. When you are praying you are focused on Him. Prayer keeps your eyes lifted upwards even when your heart maybe heavy. When we pray we are acknowledging that we are not alone in this life but there is another presence, the Living God.
Two individuals who were poles apart, the judge and the widow are in this story regarding prayer. But the prayer that is more than rote and ritual. A prayer that is expectant, demanding, longing and persistent.
If the unjust, powerful, wealthy judge relented and gave what the woman with nothing wanted eventually. Then how much more will the righteous God give to us if we do not give up praying.
Sometimes it feels like Jesus will never return. Sometimes we are praying, ‘How long, Lord?’ Maybe in the west we don’t pray these prayers. But those in the suffering Church certainly do.
But maybe you have been waiting a long time for something to happen.
Maybe it is longer than a Brexit decision (and today of all days we should be praying for our politicians)!
Sometimes it feels like God will never answer you. Sometimes we think and behave like He will never come again.
In my youth I was so sure He would come in my lifetime. I was ready. I am 53 years of age now and He hasn’t appeared. Worse than that, the world I have lived in has declined in its values and I see unkindness and hurt all around me. How long? When will you come and sort this? When will you create the new heaven and new earth?
Oh that you would bless me! (1 Chronicles 4:10)
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven! (Matthew 6:9)
But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’ (Jonah 2:9)
But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. (Psalm 3)
“There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.” (1 Samuel 2:2)
So we pray like the above. We pray and not give up. We desire and long for Him.
For we know there is one other prayer that is being prayed. It is a prayer of heaven. It is a longing, hoping question.
“When I come, will I find faith on the earth?” (v8)