Persistence In Prayer

Luke 18:1-8 is a parable or story with a lesson from Christ that speaks about being persistent before an earthly judge and the heavenly judge to acquire justice. The vehicle or medium to petition God about the injustice is prayer and Luke leads off in the first verse with the encouragement of persistence in prayer - "Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up."

Jesus says that a persistent prayer requesting justice will receive a quick reply - "Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly." (v. 7-8) There have been other supplications I have made to God that the answer has not been "quickly". Healing of my body or the body of a loved one is a prime example. However, persistence in prayer is the lesson and God does not reveal how much persistence is needed.

Even though other persistent prayer requests may not be answered "quickly", I am learning through Luke and Paul to be steadfast in my prayers. While Luke says for us to "always pray and not give up", Paul encourages the believers in Thessolinica and down through the ages - "Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thess. 5:16-18)

The original Greek word for "rejoice" is chairo (khah ee ro) meaning cheerful or happy. The original Greek word for "continually" is adialeiptos (ad-ee-al-ipe-toce) meaning uniterruped as the occasion allows. The original Greek word for "In" is en (en) meaning through or during; speaking to location of in the midst of something.

When one takes all the original intent behind these words, the verse could read -

Always have a cheerful, happy demanor, pray uninterruptedly as the occasion(s) allow and give thanks at the beginning, during and through all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

The Lord and Paul never said doing this was going to be easy. These words were Paul's final instructions to the believers of Thessolonica in Paul's first letter to them. This instruction is a development of an eternal focus with our mind, body and spirit on Christ so that "our light and momentary troubles will achieve for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." (2 Cor. 4:17)

For the best example at how the Christian's life should be an everlasting conversation with The Lord - observe Christ's prayer life. I broke down the prayer-life of Jesus in a recent study that you can read about here -