"Don't you think that God will surely give justice to His people who plead with Him day and night? Yes! He will answer them quickly! But the question is: When I, the Messiah, return, how many will I find who have faith and are praying?"
- Luke 18:7-8 TLB
I was doing my best to comfort and encourage one of my closest loved ones when I told them that they were constantly in my "day-and-night" prayers. There are many people who I pray for daily, but there are a few chosen ones who are included in my special "day-and-night" prayers. When I began studying the Scriptures in-depth, I realized that the apostle Paul, a powerful man of God whom I admire greatly, specifically mentioned praying "day and night" for certain people. For example, in Romans 1:9 (NLT) he wrote, "God knows how often I pray for you. Day and night I bring you and your needs in prayer to God." Sometimes he reversed the order and said, "Without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day." (2 Timothy 1:3 NKJV) Either way, the meaning is the same - Paul prayed from the time he woke up, until the time he went to sleep each day, especially for certain people the Lord put on his heart.
What a lot of Christians fail to realize is that all of us are called to pray the same way, even for ourselves. Look at how the apostle Paul tells widows how to deal with their personal trials: "The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help." (1 Timothy 5:5 NIV) Paul is not talking about faint-hearted or half-hearted prayers here; he is referring to persistent, relentless praying that gets the kind of results that no other kind of prayer can.
And this is the type of prayer that Jesus was referring to when He told His disciples the parable of the persistent widow. This powerful passage in the Gospel of Luke begins by saying: "[Jesus] told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not to turn coward (faint, lose heart, and give up)." (Luke 18:1 AMP) What follows next is the Master's lesson about a helpless widow who had been wronged, and who was demanding justice from an unjust judge. This woman was determined, even relentless, in her desire to gain justice for herself, and the Lord uses her as a powerful example of persistent prayer. The parable concludes with Jesus telling His followers: "And will not [our just] God defend and protect and avenge His elect (His chosen ones), who cry to Him day and night? Will He defer them and delay help on their behalf? I tell you, He will defend and protect and avenge them speedily. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find [persistence in] faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:7-8 AMP) I especially like the way the Living Bible puts it: "Don't you think that God will surely give justice to His people who plead with Him day and night? Yes! He will answer them quickly! But the question is: When I, the Messiah, return, how many will I find who have faith and are praying?" (Luke 18:7-8 TLB) Often, when I am troubled by a situation in my own life, or in the lives of my loved ones, the Holy Spirit brings the Savior's words to my remembrance, and I know it is His way of telling me to cry out "day and night" for God's help. The truth is that some lives and circumstances can never be changed except through persistent, faith-filled prayers.
It's essential that you and I always remember that our real enemies - the devil and his demons - are relentless in their activities against us, and we must be relentless, too. The Book of Revelation says: "Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: 'Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down." (Revelation 12:10 NIV) Satan is the Accuser, and "day and night," his goal is to attack us through temptation, deception, and accusation. If we fail to cry out for God's help day and night, we will be more vulnerable than we need to be, and we will experience more trials and troubles than necessary, as long as we are on this earth.
God has awesome plans and purposes for your life, but they will not be handed over to you on a silver platter. You are going to have to "fight the good fight of faith" through determined, persistent, and relentless prayer. (1 Timothy 6:12 NKJV) Take heart in the knowledge that you are able - when you do it in the strength that Christ supplies!
Lord, teach me how to persevere in prayer so that I can receive all the good things You have for me. When I am tempted to give up and quit before the answer comes, remind me of what it can cost me. Make me sensitive to Your Spirit's voice when He prompts me to pray for those You put on my heart. Remind me that my spiritual enemies are relentless, and that I need to be relentless, too. Thank You for giving me the privilege and the power of prayer!
- J. M. Farro
The Promise-Powered Life Paperback Book
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