The Simplicity of Prayer – It must be first for the waiting disciple
1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
The preeminence of pray is in Jesus’ witness to the importance of praying. In Luke 18, Jesus gives one of the most riveting examples of perseverance in prayer leaving no question of His support of the preeminence of prayer to face a hostile world in which God’s people need to have patient endurance.
1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: 3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. 4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; 5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. 6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. 7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? 8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? (KJV)
This passage teaches us that we are disciples tasked with waiting for deliverance. We are not good at this.
In verse 6, Christ commands us to hear the unjust judge. We are to hear with the intent of giving heed to his words. Although, this is a story and not an event; none-the-less, there is a message from the unjust judge’s actions, attitudes, and words. We are to listen with the intention of deciphering the message around this character created by Christ.
The clear message of the unjust judge is that no matter how alone we may think ourselves, God will not forsake us. There is a day when God will answer all who think him silent, aloof, unconcerned, reticent, or unwilling to vindicate those who cry unto him, day and night. Prayer born out of faith, that God is closer than our trouble, will maintain and sustain us. The prayer of faith will always connect us even when we feel disconnected.
There will never be a time that the patience of God will negate his commitment to the vindication of His people. The convergence of His will for men, events, and time is as certain as our troubles. God help us to pray.
The issue is can we demonstrate faith during this convergence time. Can we express faith as God works in a world of Self-imposed constraints of time and affairs of men? Will we faint? When He returns will we be so neutralized by our doubts, fears, and weakness that He will not find us holding to the faith once delivered to the saints. May we be found faithful, no matter the circumstances.
Hebrews 11:7 (KJV 1900)
7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
The convergence of Noah’s time frame was overwhelming. Years passed as Noah built and waited for God to vindicate his faith. Faith said go on, yet Noah’s human wisdom said he was foolish. Although he was buffeted from all oppositions to his faith, he remained firm. Literally, God found faith on earth in Noah amidst the greatest evil of men. When God’s will converged Noah was vindicated.
13 I had fainted, unless I had believed; To see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 14 Wait on the LORD: Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: Wait, I say, on the LORD.