POEM: “Where Time Stands Still” by Kathleen Higham
Our featured prayer motivator quote is from an Unknown Author. He said, “A preacher who prays little may see some results of his labors, but if he does it will be because someone, somewhere is praying for him. The “fruit” is the pray-er’s – not the preacher’s. How surprised some of us preachers will be one day, when the Lord shall “reward every man according to his works.” “Lord! Those were my converts! It was I who conducted that mission at which so many were brought into the fold.” Ah, yes – I did the preaching, the pleading, the persuading; but was it “I” who did the praying?”
My personal encouragement for you today is this: There is great power through prayer to God. And there are great benefits from God in prayer. You will find as you trail through life that you will need God, and prayer invites God to work in, through, and for your life.
Our prayer motivator devotional today is titled “PRAYER AND IMPORTUNITY” part 4 from the book, “Necessity of Prayer” by E.M. Bounds.
The Parable of the Importunate Widow is a classic of insistent prayer. We shall do well to refresh our remembrance of it, at this point in our study:
“And He spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 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 my 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. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though He bear long with them? I tell you He will avenge them speedily.”
This parable stresses the central truth of importunate prayer. The widow presses her case till the unjust judge yields. If this parable does not teach the necessity for importunity, it has neither point nor instruction in it. Take this one thought away, and you have nothing left worth recording. Beyond all cavil, Christ intended it to stand as an evidence of the need that exists, for insistent prayer.
We have the same teaching emphasized in the incident of the Syrophenician woman, who came to Jesus on behalf of her daughter. Here, importunity is demonstrated, not as a stark impertinence, but as with the persuasive habiliments of humility, sincerity, and fervency. We are given a glimpse of a woman’s clinging faith, a woman’s bitter grief, and a woman’s spiritual insight. The Master went over into that Sidonian country in order that this truth might be mirrored for all time — there is no plea so efficacious as importunate prayer, and none to which God surrenders Himself so fully and so freely.
The importunity of this distressed mother, won her the victory, and materialized her request. Yet instead of being an offence to the Saviour, it drew from Him a word of wonder, and glad surprise. “O woman, great is thy faith! Be it unto thee, even as thou wilt.”
He prays not at all, who does not press his plea. Cold prayers have no claim on heaven, and no hearing in the courts above. Fire is the life of prayer, and heaven is reached by flaming importunity rising in an ascending scale.