Persistent

You Should Pray Persistently, Don’t Be Lax!

When Ed, my old neighbor from Saskatchewan, called yesterday I told him that we had suffered a power outage at our end of the Fraser Valley. It sure was quiet at our house, no television, no internet for the computer. It was a toss-up between talking with the wife or reading. Most stores and businesses closed while the power outage lasted. I had planned to pick up a prescription and go to the bank. There was no point in persisting in my plans. I put them on hold.

Ed was quick to point out to me that two hours of quiet time could have been used to pray and read my Bible. He asked if I had already done both before the power outage. I was truthful and told him that I had not done either before the power outage. My old neighbor sure took the opportunity to question me. “Have you become lax in your Bible Reading and prayers,” he demanded accusingly. When I replied, “Not really.” He was quick to say that it did not sound like it. He reminded me that he was faithfully combining and supplying grain to feed the nation so that surely I could be providing prayers for others if I did not need them for myself. As one who does not attend church and seldom prays, Ed sure was enjoying himself at my expense. He asked if he needed to come to BC to check on me, or if he could trust me to be more steadfast in prayers. I told him that he could trust me.

My old neighbor sure had a point for when we leave prayers and Bible reading for later in the day we might not get around to them.  Some folks make sure that they do both before they do anything else in their day. I  am not very good at waking up. First thing in the morning I do not even talk to myself; I just try to carry on like I was awake. The longer I’m up, the more awake I become. Prayers are better for me later in the day. I’m more of an owl than a rooster crowing for the sunrise. I say, “Pray when you’re awake for best results.”

Most of us are better at praying when we are deeply concerned about a situation or the outcome of a particular event. Some of our prayers are urgent and consistent in times of trouble or sickness, but too often our prayers and Bible reading are less than relentless. Do we ignore the reading of God’s word and feel no need to talk to God in prayer; day by day, or hour by hour or minute by minute?

Jesus spoke of a widow who tenaciously and stubbornly went to a judge repeatedly to plead for justice. She was so persistent that the judge gave her justice because he didn’t want her bothering him any longer. Jesus taught with that story that we should always pray and not lose heart. God is not like an uncaring judge: he is ready and willing to give what is right for us and just to anyone else involved in our prayers. He taught that we need to be persistent, not sporadic in our prayers.

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Raymond Maher
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