Sunday, September 12, 2010

Persistent in Prayer

The Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee in Spring
A long unanswered prayer gnaws at my heart again... "Why not now, Lord?" I wonder. But deep down, I know God wants me to press in and be persistent in prayer, knowing His timing is perfect.

All through the gospels, Jesus commends those who have faith. He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. Like the friends of the paralytic (Mark 2:1-5) who lowered their buddy through the roof to get him close to Jesus. Like the centurion (Mark 8:5-13) who knew Jesus could just give a command and his servant would be well. Like the hemorrhaging woman (Mark 5:25-34) who reached to touch the hem of His garment to be healed.

Oh, how I want to be like these people! I want to trust God wholeheartedly.

I feel like the man who brought Jesus his son, possessed and made mute by an evil spirit. The man admitted some doubt..."I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24)

After Jesus cast out the spirit the disciples were unable to dispel, they were again alone with Jesus and they asked Him why it did not work for them.

Jesus replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer."

What was Jesus was saying?
  • That there are different kinds of spirits and that this really tough one will only listen to Me? No, because He expected (v. 19) the disciples could have driven out the spirit.
  • That they should not only command the spirit to come out, but they should also pray? Yes, I believe Jesus meant the disciples should pray, which connects them to the Father -- upon whom they depend for answers. They should not for one minute forget Who was doing the work. It was not by their own power, but by the Lord's.
When Jesus said this can only happen by prayer, He was saying,  
"Stay connected, keep trusting, keep depending, keep looking to Me...persist in praying it through."
Many, many, many in the Bible had long unanswered prayers. We are not alone. If we did not have these great needs and prayer to draw us close, we'd start to think things happened by our own power.

But, by our simple act of obedience (prayer), we do draw closer to God, we become more connected, we increase our faith, our trust, our dependence. We see Him at work in us and around us, and we know that all will be well. Our prayer journey becomes sweet time with the Lord and the answer is worth the wait!

Dear Lord, You call us to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12) I pray You would strengthen our faith and keep our eyes on You. You are the God of the universe and we trust in Your perfect plan.

Write a comment. Do you have a long unanswered prayer? Let's be persistent together in prayer!

1 comment:

  1. So right on target Marilyn! I never fail to be inspired by your blog - Thank you!!