PRAY AGAIN

One of the greatest teachings of Jesus is found in Luke 18. That chapter begins with the statement, “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;”

Life is not for the faint hearted. Life is not for those who are not ready to try again. Life is not for those who give up easily. Life is not for those who neglect the way of living by faith. Luke 18 plays us the video of a helpless widow woman who needed the assistance of a cruel judge in order for her to get justice. The judge was known for his lack of regard for God and men but because the widow would not give up coming and asking again and again, he got compelled to do the needful.

At the end of the parable, Jesus makes us to see that our God is far more excellent than the wicked judge and that God would avenge us speedily even though it may appear, as it were, that He delays. The counsel from Jesus is for us to pray and pray again.

Once upon a time in the ministry experience of Jesus, He had to lay hands on a man again. The incident is found in Mark 8: 22- 25. It happened that while He was in the region of Bethsaida, He met a man who wanted to be healed of his blindness. Jesus took him outside the village before laying hands on him. Jesus then “asked him if he saw ought. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.” This was Jesus. I do not think His intention was to do it more than once but since it became necessary, He had to pray for the man again. This I believe is to show us that we cannot give up on any situation no matter our track record or answered prayers. One prayer not yet answered is not enough to give up on God.

In Luke 13: 10- 13, Jesus was “was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.” This woman again was more than a faithful church attender. Her desire for God had gone beyond her need for a miracle. Unlike many who needed and actually had to cry out to Jesus for a miracle, she did not ask for any but her zeal to come to church again and again in spite of her condition, to listen to God’s word made room for her. The bible says that the clouds will empty themselves if they be full of rain (Ecclesiastes 11:3). Her unwavering desire to drink in the word had reached a point that healing could no longer be denied her, even though it was not anymore her primary concern. She was on her own when Jesus called her and healed her. If you will choose to love God again and again above your needs, your needs will submit in time.

Life can sometimes involve long wars. It is written in 2Samuel 3:1 that “there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker.” As David kept fighting, he kept getting closer to total victory until he not only became king of Judah but also king of the entire Israel. You may have been involved in a long war. You need to know that wars are divided into several battles. That is, several battles make up a war. We are all involved in the war of life but each day is a battle to be faced with victory in mind, no matter how yesterday ended. Today is another day to have faith. Today is another day to work. Today is another day to ask, seek and knock and you must be ready to ask, seek and knock by faith.

In the book of Judges 19, some base fellows among the inhabitants of Gibeah in the tribe of Benjamin committed treachery and in chapter 20, the entire Israel gathered against them to do justice but the entire tribe of Benjamin decide to rally round the defaulters so much that the matter was to be settled by battle between the one tribe of Benjamin and the eleven tribes.

The eleven tribes asked God if they should proceed against their brethren the Benjamites (Judges 20: 18) and God said yes yet at the end of the day, they lost the battle to the Benjamites. The second day, they inquired of God again with weeping and God told them that their cause was right (Judges 20: 23) and so they went to fight again and lost the battle a second time. They were so discouraged that would have given up but God told them to go ahead and fight again the third day for He would surely give them victory and that victory they got.

I however took note that after their second loss, they did more than just asking and weeping. In verse 26, “all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up, and came unto the house of God, and wept, and sat there before the LORD, and fasted that day until even, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.” Before their third prayer in verse 27, they introduced fasting and battle seed sowing as weapons and when they Got God’s word in verse 28, it was not just a yes, it was an unfailing assurance- “And the LORD said, Go up; for tomorrow I will deliver them into thine hand” and they did not even go into the battle as usual, they strategized by laying an ambush against Benjamin and they finally won the victory.

The emphasis of this week’s write up is that you must never give up. You must be ready to pray again and do again and go again and so on but do not just pray again and do again. To your determination, add strategy and to your strategy, add faith in God. This month, walk in wisdom.  Keep your eyes on the goal. Your importunity will be rewarded in Jesus name.

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