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Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Most Unanswered Prayer

“Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.”-Luke 18:1 (NKJV)

The book of Luke Ch. 18 begins with the story of a widow who approached a judge demanding justice in a dispute she was having with an adversary. This particular judge neither feared God nor did he care about people and although this widow came to him repeatedly for help; he continually ignored her pleas.

The widow however was shameless in her persistence and continued to come and make her case before this unjust judge; until one day:

“The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!”-Luke 18:4-5 (NLT)

As I read this story again this week, I realized that the most unanswered prayer that we face is the the one that we give up on. It is the prayer that we have been bringing to God, over and over, and eventually stop because it is yet to be answered. Why do we stop? The answer is simple, we lose heart!

How many prayers have you given up praying because the answer to your prayer did not come in the time frame or manner in which you expected? When we have a need that we take before God in prayer, typically we start off with a lot of passion, expectancy, and faith. However, as time goes on, for many the passion wains and expectancy plummets as their faith slowly diminishes.

Soon we believe that God’s silence on the subject is His final decision and we reluctantly move on with a prayer life that is now jaded. Now we spend more time hoping God will answer our prayers rather than believing by faith that He will. We lose heart, because we begin looking at God through the lens of our dissatisfaction. Let’s get real for a moment. How often does your perception of God change based on His lack of response? Ultimately, how we perceive God will influence how we pray! If we see God as being uninterested or unjust our prayers will be lackadaisical; lacking any persistence or drive.

However, when we base our perception of Him on the Word of God and Christ’s sacrificial death of the cross; we are not moved by the supposed silence, but are driven by what we truly know about God’s character.

The lesson of this parable is not that we can, in someway, badger God into answering our prayers. You are never going to wear God down, so to speak, with your constant prayers. If what we are praying is just and right, then we can come continually with confidence to God with our request:

“Then the Lord said, “Learn this lesson from the unjust judge. Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”-Luke 6-8 (NLT)

If this unjust judge, who neither feared God or cared about people, ultimately through this widow’s persistence granted her justice; how much more will God, who loves us, grant our requests? This woman faced off with a man that could have had her imprisoned or killed. She knew he had an unfavorable opinion of her but she was relentless in her pursuit of an answer.

Why would would be any less persistent in pursuing God in prayer when His disposition  towards us is so much more favorable? Knowing God’s nature and character we ought to be relentless in with our prayers!

Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church