God Hears Prayer
“Men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” (Luke 18:1b)
“Time to get ready for bed, Taylor. When you're done, I'll come pray with you.”
“Dad, does God really hear me when I pray?”
“Well, of course, Taylor. Why do you ask?”
“Oh, I don’t know. It just seems like a lot of the things I pray for don’t ever happen. Maybe I’m just not asking God enough times.”
“That reminds me of a parable in the book of Luke. Jesus used parables, or stories, sometimes when teaching His followers. The one I’m thinking of has to do with prayer. Jesus told a story about a judge and a widow. (A widow is a woman whose husband has died.) This widow needed help and the judge was the only one who could give her what she needed, but he refused. He turned her down. But this widow did not give up – she kept on asking the judge for help. After a while, the judge saw that this widow was going to keep on bugging him. He did not want her to bother him anymore, and he did not want others to think he was a bad judge, so he finally gave in and gave her the help she needed.”
“Oh. So I just need to keep on bugging God, right?”
“No, Taylor, because there's a lot more to the story. Jesus explained that if even this unjust, uncaring judge would give the widow what she needed – then surely we can trust that God, Who is always just and caring, will give His children what they need. And He will do it right on time.”
“But, Dad, I don’t see all my prayers being answered very fast.”
“Well, that could be because God knows better than you do what you need and what would be best to give you. Also, His idea of 'right on time' is not always our idea of 'fast.' God's timing is perfect. And it's important to understand the point Jesus was trying to make when He told the story. He was using the story to teach people to be faithful in prayer. The widow kept asking, even when the judge tried to ignore her. If she can be that faithful in asking an earthly judge for help, then God's children can pray with much more faithfulness. We have confidence that our God hears and cares about our prayer requests."
"Ok, I think I get it," said Taylor. "It's not about bugging God until He gets tired of me and gives me what I want. But I can keep on praying without being discouraged because I have faith that my requests are going to the right God."
"Exactly; your prayers are going to the right God, a good and perfect God Who hears you and cares about you. If you trust that God will give people what they need when they need it, then you will keep praying faithfully. Now – finish getting ready for bed so we can pray!”
God hears our prayers and expects us to pray faithfully.
» Do I trust God to know and meet my needs?
» Should I be more concerned with how God answers prayer, or with how I pray?
» How can I be faithful in prayer?
Truth In Real Life
“I will cling to Christ like a burr on a topcoat.”
Katherina von Bora was born in Germany on January 29, 1499. With a name that would have befitted a queen or a baroness perhaps, Katherina – or “Katie” as she would be called – would become a very important woman at least to one man (her husband Martin Luther), and she would influence her children and many others, creating a God-glorifying ripple effect on Christian history forever.
Katie’s mother died when she was a little girl, and her father quickly remarried, sending five-year-old Katie to live in the Roman Catholic Church. She was raised by the nuns – two of which were her aunts – and it was assumed that surely Katie would grow up to become a nun just like them. So she did! When Katie was 16 years old, she took the vows – or promises – of a nun.
The more Katie studied the Catholic religion, the more she wondered if she could really believe every part of it. Katie actually made plans with some of the other nuns to run away from the church, but she did not feel right about running. Running could bring a punishment of death. So the nuns created another plan.
The German monk Martin Luther was already growing popular for his reformed beliefs – for how he spoke up against the parts of the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings that taught that salvation could be earned by good works or that deliverance and relief from judgment could be bought by purchasing candles or pieces of paper from Roman Catholic Church officials. Martin Luther was instead coming to believe from the Bible that salvation belonged to the Lord, that justified people are justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone. Instead of sinners earning their own way to heaven, Jesus Christ died to save them and to offer grace and mercy by His own perfect life and perfect sacrificial death.
Martin Luther wanted to help monks and nuns who were changing their minds about Roman Catholic teachings. One day, just before Easter, a local fish seller arrived at a Catholic convent to deliver food to the nuns. It had been arranged for the fish seller to hide any nuns who wanted to escape in barrels the back of his fish wagon. This man helped the nuns escape. When they escaped, they went straight to find Martin Luther. He helped each of the nuns find marriages, homes, and jobs – each and every one of them... except Katie.
Martin Luther married Katie himself. She was a godly woman, a wife, a teacher, a nurse, a farmer, and a mother to ten children! She woke up every morning at 4am to get all of her work done and did not rest until it was finished.
Katie was a devoted disciple of Jesus and a diligent worker, among many other things. Do you do your best at what you do? Are you faithful to follow truth and committed to cling to Christ?
1 Thessalonians 4:11 – That you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.