Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought.3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”
6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:1-8
I pray. Not as often or as regularly as I should, but I do. In the early ‘80’s I started using a daily devotional called Portals of Prayer by Concordia Publishing. I started keeping a list of people and issues to pray about. I still use Portals of Prayer, and I still keep a prayer list. There are people on that list I haven’t seen in years. Terrence, for example. I only met him once, but he had a huge impact on me, and I continue to pray for him. I came to understand that God orchestrated our meeting through an Elaborate Plan; of that there is no doubt. That was in 2015. I still pray for Terrence.
I pray for America and our deliverance from the continuing slide away from God and our founding principles. I pray for the faithful remnant of Christians that have not relinquished their faith, that they are protected and strengthened. Meanwhile, the discrimination against us grows.
I pray for people who are sick and not likely to recover. I hold out prayerful hope that the cancer will be vanquished, that damaged minds will be recovered, that a more merciful death be given since death must come at some point. I don’t see that ground has been gained so far, but I keep praying.
Am I a fool? No. Clearly, we are to continue to “bother” God with our prayers. Many cases exist of prayers answered, of cancers and diseases being healed in this age. I’ve gone from extreme loss back to a good life, not too unlike Job. Things do get better sometimes. Other times the dark side wins.
Jesus healed hundreds if not thousands of people. They’re all dead now, but His mercy shone as a glimpse of a greater mercy to come.
I pray for mercy in this life. I pray for the healing and recovery of a number of people. Some prayers are simply for continued well-being, for salvation, a softened heart to accept Jesus as Savoir, or whatever the need might be. Prayers for some people have gone on for many years. Some short term issues are added and dropped off as things change.
Do I sometimes get tired of saying the same prayers for the same people year after year? Yes, there are some days when I look at my list and sigh. But I gather myself, remembering the persistent widow of Jesus’ parable, and come to God yet again.
Sometimes I just name the people and picturing in my mind what I’m asking for them because I words feel inadequate. Finally, when I reach the end of my list again, I wrap it all up with the Lord’s Prayer. I say it as slowly as I can, stopping after each part and looking at the people’s names, praying that part for them.
Then I close my Bible with the list tucked safely in its pages and put it on the shelf for tomorrow for my next appointment with The Almighty.
9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.