Gary is a small group apprentice and one whom God is raising up into leadership at Mercy Hill Church. Below he looks at a quick application from Sunday’s passage that was not covered in the sermon.
In Luke 18:1-8 (The Parable of the Persistent Widow), the Gospel writer gives the key to the door of the parable within verse 1:”And He (Jesus) told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.”
In verses 2-8, Jesus tells the story of an unrighteous judge who eventually responds to a widow’s single but persistent plea for justice following continual encounters. Then Jesus asks 2 questions, provides a promise to those questions, and asks one last question:…When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth? (Luke 18:8b)
This past Sunday, Pastor Andrew spoke on one of the most intimate applications of the follower of Jesus Christ: Our prayer life with Jesus. All are encouraged to listen if they missed the sermon or listen again for anything they may have missed during the sermon. However, this note confronts us with what was not directly addressed in the message but may very well be our struggle: What do we do when God answers our prayer?
Matthew Henry, a biblical commentator, put it as follows when he commented on this scripture passage:
“We must pray, and never grow weary of praying, nor think of leaving it off till it comes to be swallowed up in everlasting praise.” The passage in Luke is clear. Our needs and prayers matter to Jesus. He has promised to respond speedily to our petitions according to His perfect will. He knows our needs better than us and will meet every one of them. Even still, He calls us to come into His presence and converse with Him in every situation and circumstance.
If we who are called to come and pray to God grow weary for any reason (i.e.: even through the realization of our prayers being answered) then there is a direct indication that we are allowing temptation to distract our hearts from Jesus as he gives us what we are asking. Make no mistake about it, this is the subtle scheme of our enemy. As we who are fallen realize our requests being met by God through His Spirit and faithfulness, we are also vulnerable to focus more on the receipt of the requests rather than the Giver. This leads us to lose heart in our desire to stay in present and constant conversation with Jesus who is truly our greatest need and treasure.
For instance, as He has willed it to happen, Mercy Hill Church has been able to see the very movement of God Almighty in response to our prayers. We have been praying as The Body of Christ that He would soften hearts and draw those far from Him closer. He has. We have made humble yet bold requests, asking that He would make a way for strength and perseverance through the multiple transitions to Greensboro as we seek to go and tell others of His glorious Gospel. He is. We have asked that our local church would be a church OF community groups bringing others into community with us as Christ grows us in relationship with Him through the changing of our hearts. He is willing this to happen. We are witnessing hearts be changed before our very eyes. To Him be the glory.
Mercy Hill Church, the questions are straightforward and some that this scripture makes us to ask: Will we lose heart in our prayers to Jesus who has promised us Him above all else? Or will we rather trust He has made us faithful and allowed us to stay in unceasing contact with Him until we are swallowed up in the praise of His everlasting Kingdom? Let us pray that we will exemplify the latter and not the former.
Our Lord and King Jesus, make all who are called by your holy and matchless name to always pray…and not lose heart.
– G. Rivers
 Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible (Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, Incorporated).