Lord, can you hear me? How much longer till you send help?
My previous blog described how I’ve been praying for—victory, direction, wisdom—anything to know God’s listening and will rescue the hurting people in my life.
I KNOW I’m powerless to fix people or remove their problems. However, prayer can feel like a losing battle; a waste of breath.
How long should I pray before I raise the white flag?
Or do I heed Sir Winston Churchill’s challenge, “Never give in. Never, never, never!”
The Bible says, “Don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who plead with him day and night. Will he keep putting them off?” (Luke 18:7)
After I prayed on Saturday morning, it felt like God kept “putting them off.” I remembered someone telling me “Perhaps God doesn’t answer our prayers because He’s busy with more important matters.”
That’s not Biblically correct, but a busy signal (beep, beep, beep) seemed more acceptable to my friend than silence on the other end.
Likewise, I felt exasperated with the lack of answered prayer which really means I didn’t see tangible progress or what I thought people needed. So I decided to have fun.
After all, their problems aren’t my problem, right?
Only, how could I have fun knowing the enemy (Satan) wanted me to give up intercessory prayer?
Instead of attending a Mandarin Festival, I drove to a retreat center where I could stroll and pray beneath an outdoor cathedral of autumn leaves.
Although I’m not Catholic, I appreciated the Stations of the Cross along the ivy-lined gravel path.
One statue in particular made me sigh.
As Jesus stands there, shouldering a heavy cross, Mary looks up at her son with imploring eyes and clasped hands. I imagine Mary begging Jesus to save Himself. But his response is an outstretched hand (like a sweet benediction) to calm his grieving mother.
Why do I ever assume God is deaf to our pleas or immune to our pain?
God became flesh and lived among us. He learned firsthand about human pain and anguish. Not only for himself, but the people He loved.
Jesus could have said, “Enough! This isn’t my problem.”
But on that dark, smothering night when…
- Jesus knew He’d be crucified.
- He was in “such a great agony of spirit”
- Everything in Him pleaded, “Father, Remove this Cup!”
Even when it appeared to others like a losing battle, Jesus didn’t give in.
“He prayed more fervently.” (Luke 22:44)
More fervent prayer empowered Jesus to overcome temptation and carry out His Heavenly Father’s will rather than surrender to the prince of this world.
Even now, Christ Jesus doesn’t give in or give up on His people. “He lives forever to plead with God on their behalf. ” (Hebrews 7:25)
If Christ is our example, when do we give in and stop praying for others?
Never, never, never.