Wednesday, May 11, 2016
The Power of Persistent Prayer
UV 1752/10000 The Power of Persistent Prayer
And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
Luke 18 v 7
Jesus spoke a parable about a wicked, hard hearted and atheistic judge on whose doors a widow knocked, crying for justice day and night continually. The judge was not even a humanist who did good for the sake of man and not God. He lived according to his own whims and followed his own lights and conceit. Yet, the judge could not bear the persistence of the widow and finally did justice to redress the grievance of the widow. We do not know what was her grievance whether her property was encroached or taken over by some oppressive person or her only son was killed by some violent and cruel person. But the hard hearted judge gave in to the woman’s pleas and rendered her justice. Jesus is saying that how much more would He hear the cries and prayers of His beloved people, the ones who both fear His justice and love His mercy. The uni-verse is an endorsement of focussed and persistent prayer.
We should not nurse our grievances ourselves but pray day and night to the Lord. We should not seek to avenge the wrongs done to us but continually appeal to the Lord for justice in every matter. The Lord is not like that wicked and hard hearted judge. His heart is moved by our sighs, moans, cries and even silent prayer. We are His and He is ours. We are His elect or chosen ones. We are the apple of His eye as a mother dotes on her only son. Vengeance and justice- we obtain from the Lord. He revels in throwing His immense power on the side of the weak, the oppressed, the wronged. He is our advocate. He pleads our case before the Father, pointing out how faithful we have been in the past, though we might have failed in the present matter. He defends us against all the accusations of the public prosecutor –the enemy of our souls.
Persistent prayer is rewarded. We need to pray with every breath. We need to hope under every breath. We need to continually connect with the Lord in spirit. I heard the touching story yesterday of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb who thought to himself that he is the most devout follower of God as he prayed five times every day, did all his religious duties zealously, built mosques, gave alms and so on. But as he thought these proud thoughts, he saw a dream of the one whom God showed to be the most devout- a mere cobbler. He felt both angry and ashamed at God’s choice. He called the cobbler and asked him how often he prayed. The cobbler said that he had no time to go to the mosque, or to kneel and pray but as he worked with every move of his cobbler’s needle and every breath, he prayed and praised God. No wonder it was the cobbler and not the zealous emperor who touched the very heart of God. There is no wrong that the Lord cannot set right. There is no grievance He cannot redress.
Prateep V Philip