Luke 18:1-8 Pray Without Ceasing
Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. He said, “There was a judge…who neither feared God nor respected any human being. A widow in that town used to come to him and say, ‘Render a just decision for me against my adversary.’ For a long time the judge was unwilling, he thought, ‘While it is true that I neither fear God nor respect any human being, because this widow keeps bothering me I shall deliver a just decision for her.’” The Lord said, “Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night?”
I find this Gospel passage very interesting to read because the Lord (God Almighty) was telling his very own disciples, those closest to Him, that they still needed to pray.
Although the disciples walked everywhere with the Lord and talked to Him and ate with Him, they still needed to reflect upon Him. Yes, although the disciples were physically close to God, they still needed to pray to God. To me, this means that prayer is much more than just seeking nearness with God. It means absorbing every word the Lord said and every step the Lord took.
Although we may find ourselves very close to the Lord, we still need to pray to the Lord.
Pray Always. I wish I could have heard the Apostles pray. What did they pray for? How did they pray? I think that when they prayed, they reflected on every word the Lord spoke and every deed the Lord did. After all, what is Scripture if not the life of Jesus Christ in their own words?
Before they wrote their Gospels and letters they prayed. When they wrote, they wrote the words the Lord spoke, the miracles the Lord performed and the conversations the Lord had. They wrote about the life of Christ. Their prayer was His life so that His life could become their life. When they prayed, they prayed that they could be more like Him.
The purpose of praying, the need to pray, is not so that God can understand me better, nor is it for Him to become more like me. The purpose of praying is so that every breath that I take, every word that I say, every deed that I do is His. What exactly did the Apostles do? Did they become their own man? Did they re-work the Lord’s design? No. They followed in His footsteps. They made disciples. They converted souls. They were beaten and put to death.
If I want to know more about God, then I need to pray. If I want to learn more about myself, then I need to pray. If I want to make the right decisions in my life, then I need to pray.
Prayer is not a one way form of communication with God. It is not my opportunity to get a word in with my Lord and King. It is not like a visit to my therapist or psychologist or counselor, where I do all the talking (or complaining) and He does all the listening and understanding. It is a much more than that. It is a time to be in Him, with Him and through Him.
When we pray, we should not be so concerned about the words we choose. In fact, I find myself choosing more and more often the words the Lord chose. To me they are the best. They make the point clearer. They hit the target, the human heart, more often than my own. Rather, when we pray, we should use His words, His experiences, and His messages.
Praying is not something that we do only at a specific moment in the day. Praying should be like breathing; something that is done regardless of where we are. We should pray at work, at home, in conversation with friends and family, in every single event that takes place in our life. When we go somewhere, do something, say something, we should always keep in mind the traveling the Lord did, the people the Lord encountered, the questions the people asked, the difficulties the Lord had, the challenges the Lord faced, the rejections the Lord experienced.
In this way, prayer becomes my life and so whatever happens today, the Lord is with me, in me and through me.