Resurrecting Dead Prayers

Sam Petitfils

“And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1)

Most of us recall days of Christmases past as children where we longed for a particular gift and were elated when we actually received it Christmas morning.  But few of us remember that "longed for gift" that never found its way to the Christmas tree; the one that never came.

Of course God does not liken prayer to Christmas gifts, but remember that God is the Giver of all good gifts (James 1:17; Psalm 84:11).  We might have long ago given up on that sought after Christmas gift, but is it time to “resurrect” that prayer request we discarded sometime back?

Jesus reveals His aim in speaking this parable: we ought not to faint in prayer.  The judge awarded the widow her request not because she wielded great authority or was popular, rather He yielded to her because of her persistent pleas.  Is it possible we missed our answer because we quit too early, perhaps at the eleventh hour? Maybe we need to resurrect a request that, because of no answer, we ceased praying for.  Think of the following possibilities:

*Praying for a wayward child.
*Asking God for healing.
*Restoring a relationship.
*The salvation of a loved one.
*Better working conditions.
*Career possibilities.
*Funding education.

Truly we could list many more, but need to stress one point: We honor God by our persistence and by demonstrating faith in His wisdom and generosity.  Maybe we gave up too quickly, and need to “resurrect” long ago discarded prayers.  Whatever it might be, perhaps God’s timing for a positive answer draws near.

Of course, we must accept God’s answer, however it comes to us.  Moses sought to enter the Promise Land, but God said "No".  David sought to build the temple, but God replied that David’s son Solomon would build it.  Paul desired to press on to Northern Galatia, but God instead directed him to Greece.

But according to this parable, God generally honors persistence and perseverance in prayer.  If we keep praying, God will provide; if not the answer, then something very good for us.

Why not recite the following hymn as a prayer to God, and then petition Him to answer a prayer from long ago?


Sweet Hour of Prayer

1. Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
That calls me from a world of care,
And bids me at my Father’s throne
Make all my wants and wishes known.
In seasons of distress and grief,
My soul has often found relief,
And oft escaped the tempter’s snare,
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer!

2. Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
The joys I feel, the bliss I share,
Of those whose anxious spirits burn
With strong desires for thy return!
With such I hasten to the place
Where God my Savior shows His face,
And gladly take my station there,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

3. Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
Thy wings shall my petition bear
To Him whose truth and faithfulness
Engage the waiting soul to bless.
And since He bids me seek His face,
Believe His Word and trust His grace,
I’ll cast on Him my every care,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

4. Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
May I thy consolation share,
Till, from Mount Pisgah’s lofty height,
I view my home and take my flight.
This robe of flesh I’ll drop, and rise
To seize the everlasting prize,
And shout, while passing through the air,
“Farewell, farewell, sweet hour of prayer!”

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