Pray... (and don't ever give up!)
Written by Leland Ping on Feb 08, 2015
Prior to Jesus teaching with a parable about a widow who wouldn’t give up on asking for a favor, the gospel writer Luke records the following statement: “He [Jesus] spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1). There are many pieces of evidence in scripture that teach us that prayer was important to Christ and should be important to those who follow Him. In this passage, not only does Jesus stress the importance of speaking to the Father, but the Son of God also highlights the importance of not “giving up.” Some Bible versions speak of praying and “not growing weary.” It’s important to consider is why Jesus found it necessary to make this point.
First, Jesus, nor any inspired writer of the scriptures, ever taught directly or hinted at the idea that prayer should be a one-time event. Nor does the Bible ever teach that prayer is only to be at prescribed times. Some religions teach that prayer has to occur at a specific time of day or that prayers are to recited, read,
or memorized. The Bible teaches, however, that we are to, “pray without ceasing" (I Thess. 5:17). An examination of Jesus’ life, as described in the gospels, proves that He was a very prayerful person.
Second, it’s important to remember that there will be times when, after praying for what seems like a “long” time to us, we haven’t gotten the answers we’ve looked for. Jesus understood that “God’s time” was paramount to our own and that it’s vital to not simply be prayerful but to also work at not growing weary as we wait on the Lord to answer as He sees fit. If prayers resulted in immediate answers from the Father that were always to our liking, there’s no way that we would learn or appreciate the need to trust God and wait on His answers. Therefore, Jesus cautions us to not lose heart.
Finally, it’s important to note that our choice to not give up on prayer gets “easier” the more we pray. As with many things spiritual, the more we give ourselves over to God the stronger we become. If you ask men and women who have been faithful in service to a number of years, they’ll certainly say that things aren’t always easy. They will attest to the fact, however, that the more they’ve prayed through time, the easier it’s been to not grow discouraged and to remain faithful in doing God’s will. No matter what the need, no matter the time, and no matter how we feel, it’s always time to pray and there’s never a time to give up!