February 18, 2017

Persisting in Prayer

Luke 18:1-8

Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night?

—  Luke 18:6-7

Huck Finn, the main character in one of Mark Twain’s novels, became convinced that praying was a waste of time. For three days straight he prayed for fish hooks, but no fish hooks appeared! His conclusion: “There ain’t nothing in it.”

I’m sure many of us have felt that way at times. So many of our prayers seem to go unanswered. You pray for healing, but the person you love is taken from you. You ask for a job, and nothing happens. You ask the Lord to heal a broken relationship, and still your marriage ends in divorce. You plead with the Lord to bring your son or daughter back, but it doesn’t happen. Even the well-known Christian author C. S. Lewis began to wonder if praying was a waste of time. During his wife’s illness he pleaded with God to spare her life. And when she was gone, he said, it seemed the “door to heaven” was “double-bolted”—but he realized later that God hadn’t shut him out.

In the parable of the persistent widow Jesus tells his disciples—and us—to “always pray and not give up.” If even an unjust judge finally listens, how much more will our Father in heaven hear us! Though God does not always answer our prayers the way we want him to, he always listens and cares, and someday he will right all wrongs.

Holy Spirit, teach us how to pray, and help us to believe that our Father in heaven hears and answers every prayer. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

Start your day with quick daily devotions.

See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!