Yesterday my post was about persistent prayer. I talked about the poor widow who wearied a judge so much by her persistence that he gave her what she wanted. Jesus explained that God will grant our requests so much more quickly because He loves us and wants to give us what we want. I then asked myself, “Why then do we have to persist? Why does Luke 18:7 say
And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? (KJV)
I wonder why Jesus has to “bear long with us” or “put us off” as the NIV says. Why can’t He just INSTANTLY grant us our requests assuming, of course, they are requests after His own heart? I found the answer in the margins of my very own Bible where I had handwritten notes from a sermon I had heard in my past.
Yesterday I said I was extremely annoyed by those who made decisions without hearing both sides of any story. I think this concerns God, too. When we are pleading our case before God in prayer, God is seeing all the implications of His answer–perhaps an infinite number of implications which gives every case many sides. We see through the knot hole of the fence. God sees above and beyond the fence. He is omniscient. He is also righteous and, as such, He must give everyone the time to make their case, even the Devil! It may seem like a long time from our finite perspective, but God is timeless.
The persistent prayers of God’s people ram the Evil One’s case to make it collapse. When we pray against the enemy, God pays attention, but He also pays attention to Satan (remember Job?); He pays attention to everyone. Human intercessors (rammers) punch holes in the Devil’s testimony and thwart his agenda.
What do you think of all this? I don’t have everything settled in my mind, but I’ve been convicted about my lack of intercessory prayer through writing this post. The Devil uses busyness, discouragement, frustration and fear to keep us from praying. Verse 8 asks, “…when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” I want Him to say He can see at least one whose been faith-full in Pennsylvania!
Because Jesus listens, I pray,