Yesterday morning in Sunday School, we had a great discussion on prayer. Our lesson was rooted in the parables of Luke chapter 18:1-14 as told by Jesus. As I was studying this passage, it hit me that Jesus was teaching the disciples very specific truths about prayer. It made me ponder my own prayer life. I pray today's message spurs you to consider your own prayer life too!
Four things stood out to me in the passage of Luke 18:1-14.
I call them the "Secret Ingredients to a Powerful Prayer Life."
I know there are so many more truths about prayer but these characteristics will challenge your walk with the LORD this Monday morning. Prayerfully consider each one.
1. Persistence (Luke 18:5)
Do you pray without ceasing? Do you continue to pray despite no answer from God or do you give up when the circumstances look bleak? Do you continue to pray despite your feelings of wanting to give up? The persistent widow did not give up. She kept asking the Judge to give her justice and he finally gave her what she asked for. Our persistence to come to God reveals we trust God. Through our persistence, God is working to grow our faith. When a prayer is answered, we believe Him more, our faith grows and our prayer life becomes a vital growing part of our faith.
2. Humility (Luke 18:13-14)
Do you think of yourself as "pretty good" and look at others who are "worse off " then you and say to yourself, "At least I am not like those awful sinners doing those awful things." This is not a spirit of humility. This is a spirit of pride. We are saved by God but still sinners...sinners saved by grace (Romans 5:8).
3. Believing God (Luke 18:8)
I love what Jesus says to the disciples in Luke 18: 8 "...However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" He was referring to the persistent widow and her willingness to keep asking and not give up. Will God find you faithful like the persistent widow? Prayer reveals our faith in God or our lack of faith in God. Our willingness to come to Him, obediently, persistently reveals we trust God. He is not bothered by our asking. Through our belief in His ability and in His character and His Word, we grow our faith.
4. Depending on God (Luke 18:11-12 in contrast to Luke 18: 13)
Through prayer, we show our dependence on God and not ourselves....when it is rooted in a right heart attitude. And if you try to do all the right things and mumble a bunch of words in front of others like the Pharisee, God knows the motive of your prayer life. He knows the heart attitude from which you pray. The Pharisee was religious and wanted to be seen and heard. This was not showing dependence on God. This was showing dependence on himself and an image he wanted to be known by. He couldn't fool God although he might have fooled man. The tax collector on the other hand couldn't even look up to God because he was so convicted by his own sin. He asked for mercy. Jesus was pleased with this dependence on God compared to the Pharisees dependence on himself.
These four truths about prayer will help you to consider your own heart attitudes toward God in prayer.
Have a great Monday!