Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. Luke 18:1
Do you ever feel like your prayers aren't doing any good? Do you ever feel like giving up and not praying? What would happen if we didn't pray? What would have happened if these people had not prayed? What does God want us to know about prayer from their experience?
Abraham - Genesis 20:17,18 (NIV) Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his servant girls so they could have children. The LORD had kept all the women in Abimelech's house from having children as a punishment on Abimelech for taking Abraham's wife Sarah.
Abraham's Servant - Genesis 24:12,15,51,67 (NIV) Then he prayed, "O LORD, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, who was the wife of Abraham's brother Nahor. Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master's son, as the LORD has directed." Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.
Hanna - 1 Samuel 1:10,11,20 In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD. And she made a vow, saying, "O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head." So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, "Because I asked the LORD for him."
The men from the tribes of Manasseh, Reuben, and Gad - 1 Chronicles 5:20 (NIV) The men from the tribes of Manasseh, Reuben, and Gad prayed to God during the war, asking him to help them. So he helped them because they trusted him. He handed over to them the Hagrites and all those who were with them.
David - 1 Chronicles 14:14-16 (NIV) David prayed to God again, and God answered him, saying, "Don't attack the Philistines from the front. Instead, go around them and attack them in front of the balsam trees. When you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then attack. I, God, will have gone out before you to defeat the Philistine army." David did as God commanded, and he and his men defeated the Philistine army all the way from Gibeon to Gezer.
Job - Job 42:10 (NIV) After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.
Cornelius - Acts 10:2-4 (NIV) Cornelius was a religious man. He and all the other people who lived in his house worshiped the true God. He gave much of his money to the poor and prayed to God often. One afternoon about three o'clock, Cornelius clearly saw a vision. An angel of God came to him and said, "Cornelius!" Cornelius stared at the angel. He became afraid and said, "What do you want, Lord?" The angel said, "God has heard your prayers. He has seen that you give to the poor, and he remembers you.
Jesus - John 17:20,21 Hebrews 5:7-10 (NIV) My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
While Jesus lived on earth, he prayed to God and asked God for help. He prayed with loud cries and tears to the One who could save him from death, and his prayer was heard because he trusted God. Even though Jesus was the Son of God, he learned obedience by what he suffered. And because his obedience was perfect, he was able to give eternal salvation to all who obey him. In this way God made Jesus a high priest, a priest like Melchizedek.
The Church - Acts 12:5,7,11 (NIV) So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. "Quick, get up!" he said, and the chains fell off Peter's wrists. Then Peter came to himself and said, "Now I know without a doubt that the Lord sent his angel and rescued me from Herod's clutches and from everything the Jewish people were anticipating."
Early Believers - Acts 4:24-31 (NIV) When the believers heard this, they prayed to God together, "Lord, you are the One who made the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything in them. By the Holy Spirit, through our father David your servant, you said: 'Why are the nations so angry? Why are the people making useless plans? The kings of the earth prepare to fight, and their leaders make plans together against the Lord and his Christ.' Ps 2:1-2 These things really happened when Herod, Pontius Pilate, those who are not Jews, and the Jewish people all came together against Jesus here in Jerusalem. Jesus is your holy servant, the One you made to be the Christ. These people made your plan happen because of your power and your will. And now, Lord, listen to their threats. Lord, help us, your servants, to speak your word without fear. Help us to be brave by showing us your power to heal. Give proofs and make miracles happen by the power of Jesus, your holy servant." After they had prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke God's word without fear.
All Christians - John 16:23,24,26,27 (NCV) In that day you will not ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you anything you ask for in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy will be the fullest possible joy. In that day you will ask the Father for things in my name. I mean, I will not need to ask the Father for you. The Father himself loves you. He loves you because you loved me and believed that I came from God.
Jesus prayed. He prayed for us! He wants us to pray also. If prayer weren't necessary, He wouldn't have prayed or instructed us to pray. He wanted us to learn what He learned - to always pray and not give up.
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.
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