Moving Men Through Prayer
Excellent post by Dr. Paul Chappell…
“Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.”
Learn to move men through prayer.—Hudson Taylor
Jesus, like many other times in the New Testament, decides to tell a parable to illustrate a principle in Luke 18. He tells the story of the judge of a certain city. This judge wasn’t a fair and just ruler, but was independent, self-sufficient, and proud. A do-it-himself sort of self-centered man. One day a widow approached him with a plea for help. She had nowhere else to turn, no one else to help her. Assuming he would be fair because of his position, she begged him for help in confronting her adversary. The judger brushed her off, not caring what became of her.
We are not told who the judge was, but perhaps he was a Roman Magistrate who was appointed to rule that portion of Israel. If so, this man would not have cared about the Jewish people and their needs. But despite his dismissive attitude, the widow persisted in her petition for help. Finally the judge gave in, saying, “Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.”
Proverbs 29:7 could have been written about this judge, “The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: but the wicked regardeth not to know it.” Sometimes we’ll face people who don’t fear God and seem to not care about others either. What do you do when you need something from someone like that? How do you move people who don’t want to be moved? When we find someone to be immovable and a situation to be hopeless and futile, there is only one pathway to victory-persistent prayer.
British pastor J. Sidlow Baxter once said, “Men spurn our appeals, reject our messages, oppose our arguments, despise our persons, but they are helpless against our prayers.” If you’ve ever encountered someone like the fearless judge, you know the frustration and feeling of helplessness. Perhaps it’s an unsaved family member, an obnoxious coworker, or an unyielding boss-whatever the specific situation in your life, sometimes you can feel powerless to make a change.
During those times, remember the example of the widow. She was persistent in her petition. Even though the judge was a stubborn man, the widow wouldn’t stop her cry for help. When you face a situation in which you feel helpless, lay your burden before God in prayer. But don’t just seek His help once-be persistent until God answers you.
God loves you and wants, expects, and commands you to pray, to take your petitions to Him. Sometimes from your perspective prayers can seem delayed or even denied, but from God’s perspective they are exactly the answers you need. His answer isn’t always what you want, but it’s what you need.
In what situation today do you feel helpless to make a change? Think of the more important question: how often have you begged God for help in that situation? Don’t give up on a request simply because God doesn’t answer on your timetable. Be persistent in your prayer! Claim God’s promise of answered prayer, and daily (maybe even hourly) beg God for help.
To learn more about the ministries of Lancaster Baptist Church and Pastor Chappell, please visit lancasterbaptist.org, paulchappell.com, or follow him on twitter.