Posts Tagged ‘Luke 18:1-8’

Keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking

January 22, 2019

The Verse of the Day for January 22, 2019, highlights the importance of praying and receiving answers to our prayers:

Matthew 7:7-8 (Amplified Bible):

[Prayer and the Golden Rule] “Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives, and he who keeps on seeking finds, and to him who keeps on knocking, it will be opened.

In thinking about this passage, we recognize the Greek New Testament expresses the three verbs in the present progressive tense: meaning keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking. In the same manner that a child will keep asking for a treat while shopping with his or her parents until the parent relents, Jesus Christ says to continue to ask, continue to seek, continue to knock in our petitions to God, our Father.

This passage inspired an acrostic poem that spells out the word “a-s-k,” the first three letters of which form the three verbs found in this excerpt from the Sermon on the Mount. Here are lyrics to a scripture memory song based on

Matthew 7:7-8:

Ask and it shall be given you;
Seek and you shall find.
Knock and it shall be opened unto to you.
Ask, seek and knock.
Ask, seek and knock.

For everyone who asks receives.
He who seeks finds.
And to him who knocks, it shall be opened.
Ask, seek and knock.
Ask, seek and knock.

Always ask, no matter how great or small the task.
Serve the Lord God with a pure heart and remove the mask.
Keep trusting in the Lord–all you have to do is ask.

Someday soon we shall stand on top of the mountain peak.
Every golden promise God has fulfilled, as we speak.
Each day adds another victory toward your winning streak.
Keep pressing toward the mark to obtain the prize you seek.

Keep renewing your mind, assess your thoughts and take stock.
Never give up–build your hope on Christ, the solid rock.
Overcome the odds–by faith get around any roadblock.
Count your blessings with every tick-tock of the clock.
Keep this in mind and call on the Lord: ask, seek, and knock.

This passage also brings to mind Luke 18:1-7 where Jesus Christ illustrates the power of persistence in getting answers to prayer when he shares a parable teaching “that men ought to pray and not give up and lose heart.” The principal characters are a self-righteous judge “who did not fear God and had no respect for man.” The judge encounters “a desperate] widow,” who kept coming to him and saying, “Give me justice and legal protection from my adversary.” For a time he did not respond to her persistent requests; but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow continues to bother me, I will give her justice and legal protection; otherwise by continually coming she [will be an intolerable annoyance and she] will wear me out.’”

The Lord Jesus ends the parable by saying “Listen to what the unjust judge says! And will not [our just] God defend and avenge His elect [His chosen ones] who cry out to Him day and night? Will He delay [in providing justice] on their behalf? 8 I tell you that He will defend and avenge them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find [this kind of persistent] faith on the earth?”

1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 reinforces the exhortation to be persistent in prayer with this reminder to “pray without ceasing.” Certainly, this does not mean believers need to walk around with clasped hands and closed eyes. We cannot remain on bended knee all day every day, but we can express our gratitude to God in everything we say and do, as we maintain a perpetual attitude of gratitude called “Thanksliving.”

The passage from Luke 18 and the words from 1 Thessalonians 5 combine in these lyrics:

We ought always to pray and not to faint.
We ought always to pray and not to faint.
We ought always to pray and not to faint.
To pray, pray, pray, pray, pray without ceasing.
In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

We close as the Las Vegas Community Choir offers this stirring reminder: “Ask, and It Shall Be Given Unto You”:

Prayer works

January 28, 2016

prayer works

Instead of the Verse of the Day, today’s devotional centers on a life-changing time of ministry entitled “Prayer Works,” part of a series of teachings by Bishop Charles Mellette of Christian Provision Ministries in Sanford, NC. The objective was to encourage and help believers to expect that their prayers of faith will produce results.

In speaking of developing a “prayer life” or “life of prayer,” he stated the prayer is our right and privilege to talk to God about situations that we are dealing with. As we pray to God, expressing our petitions, He reveals His will for us. God, as “the master planner,” wants us to plan, but He does not want us to exclude Him. Jeremiah 29:11-14 in the Amplified Bible speaks of God’s plans for us connected to our prayers to Him:

11 For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the LORD, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call on Me and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear [your voice] and I will listen to you. 13 Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

In thinking about the title of the teaching, “Prayer Works,” one could think of the statement that prayer brings about results, where “works” is a verb meaning to have an effect, to produce, to bring about results by effort. On the other hand, one could view “works” as a noun, in the plural, something produced or accomplished by effort, exertion, or exercise of prayer. I recall this statement by Lord Alfred Tennyson: “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” No matter how you view it: “Prayer works!”

Among the scriptures emphasized during the teaching was Luke 18:1-8, where we find the Parable of the harsh judge and the persistent widow who continually pressed him for justice toward her adversary. In this account Jesus Christ teaches a valuable lesson about prayer and never giving up on our requests. This particular passage inspired the following poem:

Prayer Works

Parable of the Persistent Widow
Luke 18:1-8

Once the Lord told a parable:
We should pray and not give up.
A widow made life unbearable
So that this judge was fed-up.

See, this lady drove him crazy,
Crying “I want my justice!”
She repeated, “Give it to me!”
As she raised such a ruckus.

This judge who feared neither God nor man
Gave in and answered her plea.
Keep on asking was her plan:
That’s how she won the victory

Here is the lesson we should learn:
If a harsh man will relent,
Surely God will show more concern
And be just to the fullest extent.

Give the Lord no rest but insist;
Knock on His door night and day:
You have whatever you say.
Prayer works for all who persist.

The accompanying video provides this stirring reminder: “The power of prayer should not be underestimated”: