Sincerity of the Heart
Dear holy Lord, sovereign over all and able to do exceedingly more than I can ever imagine. I pray if it is in your sovereign will to heal her; if it be your will. Yet, if not give us your grace through it all because you are bigger than my thoughts.
This is a prayer I find myself praying intermittently. Now, I do not think there is anything wrong with the doctrine or any heretical statements within that prayer, but I do fail at something. I lack the sincerity of the heart. I tend to focus more on getting my doctrine right and not “offending” God. Then, I stumbled upon Luke 18:1-8.
“And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’”
This woman was always nagging. She was persistent. She knew what she wanted and what needed to be done. She also knew who could fix the problem. Nothing stopped her. It did not matter if this judge hated life; she wanted him to fix the problem. Tenacity and fervor overflowed out of her heart. The passage continues in Luke 18:6-8,
“And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Then Jesus makes the contrast between this hateful judge and the King, Lord of the Earth, by saying if this judge can give what the woman wants. Then, how much more will God give to those who are persistent like her? The Creator is greater and more powerful than we can imagine. Sometimes, I forget his abilities and thereby strip Him of the Glory He deserves.
Jesus also attaches a clause at the end of his question, “who cry to him day and night?” This is the clause that struck me. When have I had the tenacity to cry out not during at night, but during the day? The times are few. As I discussed in the beginning, I get caught up in the edicts of my prayer and forget that as people of the Kingdom we must not lose heart while we pray.
If you are like me, you equate the length of prayer and amount of qualities of God with the size of your spiritual growth. May God forgive us for our ignorance and prideful attitudes. Thanks be to God who does not need our opinions to remain King and our lengthy orations to heal. He is Lord over all and the great healer. May we also be reminded not only how children of the Kingdom should pray through a parable, but also in how Jesus modeled praying on the Mount of Olives.
“And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw away, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Luke 22:40-44