People prefer to watch television for hours together and are reluctant to spend time on prayer. While watching the television, even the thoughts about the inevitable pending jobs do not disrupt us. At the same time, we allow our thoughts to disrupt our prayers. Thoughts like, did we close the windows of our car, switched off the gas supply to the stove, or locked our house properly are some other doubts that come to our mind during prayer time. Apart from these doubts, our recurring worries bother us while praying.
We stop praying because we are not getting an instant answer to our prayers. Sometimes we stop praying because we have received what we expected. Some people are willing to pray for two minutes, while others might like to pray for hours together. These distractions are possible because prayer is only treated as a device to derive answers from God and not as a platform to share our experiences with God.
The Breath Of Life
Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.Genesis 2:7
Before receiving the breath of life in his nostrils, man was mere dust. It denotes that anyone who does not have the breath of life within them is the dust of the earth, even though they appear to be physically alive in their human body. However, the one who believes in Jesus retains the breath of life in him, and he is alive both physically and spiritually. It is unfortunate that when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, God closed the path to the Tree of Life in the garden of Eden. But fortunately, even before creation, He destined His Son as the only way to eternal life (John 14:6). To obtain the breath of life, we should have Jesus in our hearts, who conquered death with life. The Bible portrays the word of God as the breath of God, and whomsoever inherits His word will not die and live forever.
In our body, the heart functions automatically, and the lungs breathe the air without effort from man. God knows the slackness of man, and He automates the function of breathing in and out. Like the lungs breathe oxygen, the soul breathes His Word. Intentionally, God does not automate the functioning of the soul to absorb the living word but leaves it to the manual choice of individuals. To strengthen our souls with God’s word, we should continually remind our souls of the goodness of God in accomplishing His word in our lives. Otherwise, worldly worries will suppress our souls, while simultaneously, our hearts will be filled with grief and sorrow. Often the Psalmist practised this tactic to enlighten his soul with the love of God.
Praise the LORD, my soul;Psalms 103:1-2
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
Uninterruptible Prayer Spirit
We know the mechanism of an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), which supplies the stored energy when the supply fluctuates. UPS absorbs and saves electricity by charging its batteries while the electricity is available and supplies power in the absence of electricity. Likewise, when sin or difficult situations smother our soul from breathing His Word, the Love of God regulates breathing His Word.
To have a constant connection with our God, we should not lose hope in Him. In Luke 18, Jesus narrated the parable of a persistent widow. She did not lose hope and optimistically visited a wicked judge and received a favourable judgment. Despite this parable encouraging us to pray persistently, we fail to pray persistently.
To make this parable more practical, we should understand what caused the desperate widow to visit the wicked judge again and again, despite rejections. Was it her helpless condition that forced her to seek justice despite many insults and hurts? More than the thrust, her trust in God and understanding of His impartial love enabled the widow to plead for justice to a wicked judge.
Many people would have discouraged the desperate widow from going to the rude judge, while others would have challenged her that she will not get any justice from him. We would have come across many ‘well-wishers’ not letting us do what we want with discouraging words. And subsequently, we are afraid to reach the authorities to receive justice, looking at their outward appearance and ruthless attitude.
God of the Suppressed and the Suppressors
In the parable of the persistent widow and the wicked judge, Jesus portrays these two extreme characters to calculate perseverance in us and gives us the reason why we should not give up. Often we lose hope, thinking that the devil has the authority for wickedness and is the sole reason for our unfortunate situations. Here Jesus makes us aware of His control over everyone and everything.
From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.Acts 17:26
The widow understood that God appointed the judge even though she knew that he did not fear Him. And she discerned the truth that the same God had placed her under the ungodly judge’s jurisdiction. With this, she visualized the controlling power of God and gained confidence that no matter how wicked the judge is, sooner or later, he ought to fulfil his duty assigned to him by God.
God hardened the heart of Pharoh not to harass His people (though outwardly it appeared like harassment) but to deliver His people by revealing His mighty power. During difficult situations, the widow did not find fault with God, but rather loved Him and continued to trust Him. Even some trivial issues make us question the integrity of God without trusting Him. This parable insists on loving God at all times to gain hope and accomplish His will in our lives (1 Corinthians 13:13).
True love never ends. The love of God does not end by giving His Son Jesus to us. The love of Jesus does not end with His death and resurrection. Jesus is seated at the right hand of His Father unceasingly pleading on behalf of us (1 John 2:1) to accept us as His sons and daughters. Justifying a blunder of an erring person is very difficult. Jesus shed His blood on the cross and still pleading His father to forgive every erring human.
God loves our suppressors too as much as He loves us. The persistent widow knew that God loves the wicked Judge as much as He loved her. We do not love our suppressors but fear them. We hate our betrayers and wait for an opportunity to expose their guilt publicly. But the love of God never fails, and it accomplishes His will in every human.
If we love Jesus as much as He loves us, we will also be able to pray unceasingly just like He pleads with His Father to save every human. Prayers are not mere petitions to derive redressal but the breath of Jesus who lives in our hearts. As breathing makes a person alive, persistent and unceasing prayer will keep our souls alive forever. Let us ask God to fill our hearts with His love so that we might continue to live in Him as He lives in us.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.1 Thessalonians 5:16-18