Monday, October 15, 2007

Pestering God: Luke 18:1-8

Prayer is part of walking with Jesus. God receives all kinds prayer: formal and corporate prayer, everyday and conversational. Its our part of communication with God as Father. But its not a one way street. God sometimes starts the conversations and other times replies when we start talking. That's called revelation; and prayer to God can't exist without faith in the God revealed to us and for us in the Word.

Okay, you say prayer keeps you connected to God just as we stay connected when we listen to the Living Word revealed in Jesus. But what if you're desperate. A quick reading of this story lets you see that Jesus isn't talking generally about prayer and our relationship to God when things are okay. The woman, Jesus was talking about, prayed out of desperation. We, as God's people, are invited in Luke 18:1-8 to imagine our relationship with God in very human terms.

The woman needs a judge to move on her case. And he doesn't care. But she pesters and pesters until he finally moves on her case. Jesus tells us to pray like this, day and night, for justice. The issue at hand for the widow is justice. Jesus is inviting us to pray, like this, about what matters.

Parenting two 4 year old girls has given me a little insight into God's communication with us (revelation) and our communication with God (prayer). My daughters have a wonderful ability to ask for all kinds of things and on occasion they have the ability to do more than just ask, sometimes they even say thanks, with out prompting. As a dad I expect to hear, "Daddy, I'm thirsty. Can I have some water please?" and its always wonderful to hear, "Thanks dad." in response. I can imagine that God the Father hears many of these prayers from us.

Parents know there are other pleas that really matter. They come in tears and screams that aren't neat and tidy requests bookended with "please" and "thank you". Some prayers come from deep in the soul and call to heaven for a reply.

I'm learning that there aren't always easy answers to these requests. Sometimes the why or the how questions my daughters ask are way out of my league. Sometimes they pester and push hoping to get what they want, and sometimes they pester to get something they really need. Jesus calls on us to pray without ceasing when it matters trusting that we will be heard.


Diane said...

I'm preaching on Genesis 32, but I like what you are saying about Luke. And I keep hearing one part of the hymn "God of grace and God of glory"
"save us from weak resignation/from the evils we deplore

LawAndGospel said...

Thanks for this post- I enjoyed the perspective