Praying over a long period of time without seeing an answer can be discouraging. We have all been there. Yet Jesus, again and again, tells us to always pray, and not give up. He was well aware how easily we get discouraged. This is why he warns us, not to give in to our flesh, but to continue praying. So, have we fallen into the trap of giving into our flesh and given up praying?
Psalm 91 is frequently prayed in times of danger. But it opens with a very clear condition: “Whoever dwells in the secret place of the Most High”. Psalm 91:1 makes it perfectly clear that not everyone “will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Not every believer, but only those who dwell in God’s secret place.
In the parable of the persistent widow, Jesus teaches us that prayer is not just a one-off matter. Although he encourages us that our heavenly Father will hear our prayer, he also leaves no doubt that we may need to pray repeatedly and persistently until we receive our answer. If you have been praying for someone or something and are still waiting for God to answer, this is for you. Do not lose heart, do not be discouraged! Persist just as the widow persisted!
One of the greatest discoveries a believer can make is the wonderful truth that God is our Father and we are his children. But we shouldn’t stop here. Understanding our identity as God’s children is no end in itself. It is the starting point of our relationship with the Father. And as every relationship works in two ways, this is the case also in our relationship with God. But what do we bring to that Father-child relationship? What does God, our Father, expect from us?
What is the purpose of having faith when we feel the wind blowing in our sails? When we see the sun shining on us, and we find goodness and blessings along our way? Isn’t rather that faith when we have no reason to believe? When we actually cannot see “the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living”?