Sunday, July 31, 2016

Pray Without Ceasing

   As some one raised "in the church," I have heard messages on most passages in the Bible at least once over the last 32 years. Sometimes, though, there's a message or just a single point that completely transforms how I see a passage of scripture. Today was one of those days.
   Our pastor is a big fan of series' of messages. He and the pastoral staff do a great job of picking a theme and teaching on various aspects of said theme for a few weeks. The current theme is parables. Our lead pastor and other members of the team have been teaching messages really digging in to those parables most of us have heard many times, and bringing new light or a new depth or dimension to the point of the story. Today's parable is told in Luke 18:1-8. I have always heard this parable taught with the point of praying without ceasing, always coupled with 1 Thessalonians 5:17. The point has always been to literally, "Pound down the gates of Heaven with your prayers," and to not stop until God hears and answers. Be like the widow and just pester-pester-pester God with your prayers until he answer. The message today, though, gave me a brand new insight on this passage, and I couldn't not share it.
   We are not like the widow, and God is not like the judge! Luke 18:6 calls us God's chosen ones. He wants to hear from us, He wants to hear our hearts, our requests, and He wants to answer them quickly. Our answer may not be what we want- it may be yes, it may be no, it may be not right now, but He always, always, always answers quickly. No "pounding down the gates of Heaven" with our prayers required. 
   Now, that's not to say that we shouldn't pray, or that we should disregard the passage in Thessalonians. It just doesn't mean the more times we demand our will from God the better the odds He'll cave and give us our way. God wants to hear from us. He wants to hear from us daily, a conversation never ceasing. Not a list of demands in time of crisis. He wants to hear our hearts every day, even if what is on our hearts has already been poured out to him. Just like with a spouse, He doesn't just want to hear from us when we're in crisis or in need. What kind of relationship is that? No one likes feeling used, and our ears will be more tuned to hearing His actual answers when we are having the never-ceasing dialogue with him. He invites us to tell Him everything, and He is eager to give us the best, whether that's what  we  envisioned as best for our situations or not. We are His chosen whom He is eager to converse with, hear, and answer, and give us the very best. No pestering and gate-pounding required. 

Hear the whole message HERE.

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