September 06, 2012

Pray Without Ceasing

Luke 18:1-8

Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
—Luke 18:1


Why do so many Christians often struggle to pray? Just as there are pitfalls in communications between people, there are sometimes disconnects in our communicating with God.

We might liken prayer to a buffalo surrounded by a pack of wolves that dash in when the great beast’s head is turned. Slashing with their fangs, the wolves seek to hamstring the buffalo or to get at its throat.

And what are the wolves? Well, one of them can be impa-tience with the timing of God’s answers. For example, we might pray for the healing of someone we love. But if they are not healed right away, or if they die, we might, in our grief and despair, give up believing that God can heal or that our loved one can receive a better healing in God’s presence. The wolf of unbelief nips in and out, working skillfully with the wolf of impatience.

Another wolf can be the drying up of our impulse to read the Bible. In prayer we talk to God, and in his Word he speaks to us. If we falter in prayer, however, and if we seldom read the Bible, God’s voice becomes fainter and fainter, and our response is less grateful, less soul-searching, and less frequent.

Another wolf can be busyness, or a mind that wanders even when the words of prayer are on our lips.

In all of this, remember what Jesus says: Keep on praying; don’t give up.

Lord, teach us to pray. We want to know you more, not less and less. Help us to pray often, deeply, and from the heart. Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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