By Kyle Patterson, Editor of UNITE & founder of Prayer Collective.
God is sovereign.
He rules over all.
He holds all power, authority and dominion.
They all belong to him.
Yet, he has chosen in his sovereignty to work through you and me.
And, he commands us to pray and not give up. Actually, he commands us to not just pray but to "cry out."
“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”
And the Lord said, “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? Will he keep putting them off? 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 really believe this is where we begin to doubt God's promises and his willingness to hear and answer our prayers. The promise in Luke 18 is, God will answer with justice to those who cry out. Not just once. Day and night.
What are we to do with such an invitation? We can write it off as for the extreme or unbalanced. We can gloss over it and not take it to heart. Or we can respond wholeheartedly to the invitation.
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
— Hebrews 11:6
Another version uses the word, earnestly. Here are a few of the synonyms:
fervent, intent, purposeful, determined, industrious, ambitious. Earnest, resolute, serious, sincere imply having qualities of depth and firmness.
We must go after God in the secret place with all our hearts and obtain a deeper level of his presence and glory. We can't give up until he blesses us. The challenge of the American dream is comfort. We live in a country where it's easy to sit back and coast spiritually. Our land is not in famine or war. Our lives are not in the balance on a daily basis as in some nations. Instead we're distracted. We have money to spend. Television to watch and status updates to update. Our basic needs are not only met but we live in a country where we have too much, often.
Sadly, often these "blessings" serve as distractions to the deeper things of God. So instead of pressing in to the place of intimacy and pursuit of the Holy, we find comfort in other things or people or places or money.
Then we blame God and write off his promises. Or discount his word. Or even worse make up doctrine out of our experience. "I prayed and God didn't answer so it must not be his will," we say. Though the Bible tells us otherwise.
So, you are asking God to do something for you, or through you or in you. My question is have you cried out day and night?
Have you been like the persistent widow?
Have you prayed to the point where God moves?
Yes, he is sovereign, and yes he has chosen to work through the prayers of his people. Psalms tells us the heavens are the heavens of the Lord but the earth he has given to the sons of men. Jesus himself told us we must pray, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
This post sponsored by and originally appeared on www.prayercollective.com