Are your prayers being heard? Have you been fervently praying for something for a long time and are just about at the point of giving up? Maybe you feel that God just will not listen to you.
Thereâ€™s a parable about a woman who kept on pleading an evil judge to save her from her enemy. This judge did not love God nor did he care about helping people in trouble. But, because he was tired of being harassed by this woman, he finally gave in to her demands. Why then, if an evil judge reacts that way to persistent prayer, would God not give much more to his own child right away? Therefore, Jesus said, keep on praying that way, and do not give up! However good it is to be persistent and fervent when you pray, there is still one important component missing: faith! (Luke 18: 1-8)
Jesus wondered whether he would find faith on the earth when he returns! How sad he must have been to contemplate a faithless world. He had come to go to the cross to set them free, and yet he knew that most would reject his love! He obviously had encountered very little faith in Israel. He saw more faith in some pagans.
There was a Roman centurion, who told Jesus that he did not have to come to his house to heal his daughter. He told him that he knew that as soon as Jesus spoke the command, his daughter would be healed! Jesus totally marveled at this, exclaiming that he had not found such great faith in Israel! (Mat. 8: 5-10)
The centurion understood the power of authority. He knew from the army, that once a command was spoken, it had to be carried out, even a long distance away! He understood that if God had said it, it was done! There was no hesitation, no wondering, and no wavering.
Then there was a Canaanite woman, whose daughter was demon possessed. Jesus at first totally ignored her until his own disciples pleaded with him repeatedly on her behalf! Whatâ€™s more, he tested her faith even more by telling her bluntly that he had come for Israel; not for dogs! However, she relentlessly persisted.
This woman was so hungry to receive her blessing that she was as hopeful, expectant and patient as a dog waiting for crumbs to fall from the table! She had a fervent request, steadfast faith, and would not let go until her daughter was delivered! In this case also, the daughter was not even present, but was healed instantly! Jesus remarked: â€œO woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt.â€ (Mat. 15: 22-28)
These two individuals did not even know God! They were both pagans. Yet, they had heard of the man of God in Israel, who was doing miracles. That stirred such great faith in them, that they wanted to know this God and receive his blessings!
My friend, meditate on these three scriptures and make an honest assessment as to what area of your prayer life may need improvement. Are you hungry enough? Are you relentlessly persistent, refusing to give up until you get your answer, or maybe you need to develop more faith?
God has given you the measure of faith. (Rom. 12: 4) All you need to do is exercise it. May I recommend that you donâ€™t wait until you need a miracle. A good way to start honing your faith is to pray for someone elseâ€™s headache. When you start out praying for your own body, you may tend to check the symptoms, inadvertently allowing doubt to slip in. As your faith grows, so will your persistence and authority. The symptoms will soon disappear when they discover you mean business and are doing warfare in the mighty name of Jesus!
â€œFaith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.â€ Heb. 11: 1,6)