Don’t grow weary of prayer

By Michael Brooks / Guest Columnist
The Christian statesman E. M. Bounds observed, “The church needs
mighty men of prayer.” If Bounds wrote today, he’d be more inclusive
and call for men and women of prayer. We’ve never had a movement of
God in history without prayer. We know this, and yet we have a
tendency to pray fervently and then fall into spiritual lethargy.

One of Jesus’ great stories is about an awful judge who didn’t fear
God, regard man or care about a widow who was victimized. Today we’d
call for this man’s impeachment. We’ve heard lately about a judge
accused of spousal abuse and the calls for his removal. The judge in
Jesus’ story wasn’t guilty of violent acts, as far as we know, but he
didn’t respect the rule of law.

The widow pleaded her case, and kept returning to do so. The judge
finally decided that lest she weary him with repeated pleas, he’d do
the right thing for her.

Jesus taught two lessons in this story. The first is about the
compassion of God. “Shall not God avenge his own elect who cry out day
and night to him?” he asked (Luke 18: 7). Who are God’s elect? These
are men and women of faith–those who have trusted Christ for personal
salvation. Christians must never believe God wearies of our prayers.

The second lesson is the need for persistence. The widow came
continually before the judge pleading her case. We cannot afford to be
haphazard with something as vital as prayer. We should bring our
requests to God regularly, thus demonstrating our concern as we ask
for his concern.

Many Christians have found a simple prayer list helpful in this
regard. A 3 x 5 note card can be placed in one’s Bible, shirt pocket
or purse as a reminder to pray consistently. A prayer list also keeps
us from forgetting, as we’re sometimes prone to do.

Jesus said “Men ought always to pray and not grow weary” (Luke 18:1).
Persistent prayer is a virtue.
Michael Brooks is the pastor of the Siluria Baptist Church in Alabaster, and is an adjunct instructor of communications at Jefferson State Community College in Hoover.