Praying in Christ

Scott Stevenson

"One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.  “There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people.  A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’  The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy.  I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’”  Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge.  Even he rendered a just decision in the end.  So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night?  Will he keep putting them off?  I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly!  But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”  Luke 18:1-8 (NLT)

We live in a world of sin and injustice, but never really come to the Lord on a consistent basis when faced with unfair treatment.  When I read God’s Word, He points things out to me and shows me where I go wrong.

In Lk.18:1, I notice a key to unlocking the power of prayer.  Jesus told his disciples to always pray and never give up.  Verses 2-5 show how an unjust king would render a just verdict under constant petition. 

God uses the contrast of an unjust king to Himself to show us that not only His goodness, but His love for us…all the more reason we should be in constant prayer.  Sometimes I get tired of hearing my own repeated petitions, but the Lord doesn’t get tired of me.  Hello!  He wants me to consult with him about everything!

Questions:

Why do we need to always pray without becoming faint?

Did the Lord ever say we would not suffer here on earth?     

Well, well, well, now we come to the hard part, the difficulty of unlocking the power of God.  I like the Amplified Bible with the following verses so we have a full definition of what God says about suffering. 

How do I contend with flesh that is adverse to suffering?  The flesh tells me this thought process is crazy because it has physical limitations.  We can’t seem to get outside the box of the physical world due to our body making its preferences known.

In God’s Word, He presses the envelope even further by asking the Christian to have joy in his or her suffering!  I need to understand how to be happy in suffering.  What did he just say?  Be happy during suffering!?  Well hold on Buck Rogers, I didn’t say it, the Lord did…read: 

"If you are censured and suffer abuse [because you bear] the name of Christ, blessed [are you—happy, fortunate, to be envied, with life-joy, and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, regardless of your outward condition], because the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of God, is resting upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified."  I Peter 4:14 (AMP)

God is bigger than our suffering!  This is called faith.  

Question:

So how do you have joy in suffering?

I think the best way to answer this question is with a question.  I know it’s rude, but it helps me to think through the dilemma of why I can’t seem to tap into the power of the Holy Spirit during different types of suffering.

I think Jesus answers by telling us this.  "I tell you, He will defend and protect and avenge them speedily. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find [persistence in] faith on the earth?  Luke 18:8 (AMP)

Answer:

We must remain “in Christ” in order to live for Christ.  YOU CAN’T SAVE YOURSELF AND YOU CAN’T CONTINUE TO TRY AND SAVE YOURSELF.  You might say, "I’m not saving myself", but do your actions speak louder than your words?  I have found my mouth saying one thing, but my body doing another on a number of occasions.  Can you simply walk out Luke 18:1-8?  You can if you know who you are IN CHRIST.

For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]."  Ephesians 2:8 (AMP)

IN CHRIST AND ONLY IN CHRIST WILL YOU ACHIEVE VICTORY!

 

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