“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.’

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? Will he delay long over them?  I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?’ Luke 18:1-8

This Thursday, May 1, is the National Day of Prayer, and our country and world are in desperate need of it.  Prayer has taken a back seat in favor of entertainment, the pursuit of money, even religion.  Our time with God has been neglected.  How do I know?  Because I look around at the state of things and I see the fruit of it.

I see morals being thrown out the window by the bucketful.  I see people using one another for their own gain.  I see adults’ behavior regressing into immaturity and downright childishness.  I see the family unit disintegrating more and more. I see disrespect and even hatred on a whole new level. I see sin coming out of the darkness and living proudly in the light for all to see, and I see people afraid to stand up against it.  I see the pain and suffering caused by rampant sin.

And more and more those who call themselves Christians are looking and walking and talking no differently than non-believers.

Yet I see Christians pointing an accusing finger at the world and talk about how awful it is and if they’d just straighten up and fly right everything would be okay.  But God says that “if MY people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

God doesn’t tell the world to change, He tells His own people that if we will repent, and if we will submit and turn from our old man and live righteously before Him, then God will our land.  We are the example to the world.  We are to be salt and light.  And when we are right with God then we will be able to, by the grace of God and the blood of Christ, stand in the gap between God and unbelievers and pray that God will open their spiritual eyes and that they will be saved.

It starts with us.

I was saved, because of the persistent, year-long prayers of a Christian, when I was 25 years old.  By that time I’d already formed a lot of erroneous beliefs.  One was that abortion was acceptable since our laws give us a right to it, and the other was that God and satan were equal powers, the only difference being that one was a power for good and the other for evil.

But the moment I was saved and indwelt by the power of the Holy Spirit, my eyes were opened and those two beliefs were dispelled.  I knew immediately that abortion was wrong and that God’s power over satan was infinite.

The only way to see our country and world transformed is to pray for them, one person at a time.  To pray that God will soften hearts and open eyes, like He did mine, and that people will be saved.

A lot of us are weary, though.  We’re weary of seeing sin gain the upper hand.  We’re weary of trying and feeling like we’re moving two steps forward and one step back.  We’re weary of praying and praying and praying and not seeing results.  I get it.  I’ve been there.

There are some things I’ve prayed years for and still have yet to see fruit.  But that doesn’t mean nothing’s happening.  God is making things happen behind the scenes that I’ll never see.  He waits for circumstances, other people, our hearts and a multitude of other things to be just right before He can answer prayers.

Some He’ll answer quickly, and some take a lifetime. But His timing is always, always perfect.  There are some answers where I’m beginning to see the bud develop, but it’s taken an excruciatingly long period of time.  And there are some things I prayed a long time for, and now know those things will never happen.  And in those instances hope can take a hard hit.

But God says don’t give up.  Hope in Him.

In the Luke 18 parable, Jesus illustrated that if even an unrighteous person relents to someone’s pleas simply because they don’t give up, how much more will God, who is fully righteous and loving towards His children, give to them when they continue to seek Him?

Yes, you’re weary.  And distracted.  So am I.

So why pray?  The bottom line is this: God wants to see our prayers answered.  He wants to show us His will.  He wants to broaden our dreams and give us victory in this life. And what’s more, He wants us to have the peace and courage and wisdom we need every day, and the only way to have those is through prayer.  That’s why He tells us to pray and keep on praying.  Some answers to prayer simply take a long time.  And what if we give up before it’s time?

So let’s find a little corner and sit down at the feet of Jesus—the giver of strength and peace and wisdom–and pray, and gain our strength again.

Let’s stand in the gap for our family, our church, our friends, our neighborhood, our state, our country, our world.

Our children and grandchildren are growing up fast and the legacy we leave them in this world will depend on if we choose to pray or not. It’s a responsibility and privilege we can no longer take for granted.

Here is the link to the website for the National Day of Prayer.  I hope you’ll choose to be one of those on the front lines of prayer for our nation and our world as the time draws closer to the Lord’s return.

And when He does, as Jesus asked, will He find faith?  Will you and I be the ones He sees holding onto our faith in Him as we continue to seek Him in prayer?

Tomorrow we’ll talk about how to pray.  Please pray for me as I seek the Lord for wisdom.

God bless you as you pray!