Have you ever read about the persistent widow in Luke 18? I probably read it or meditate on it several times during the week. It's because I am so undone by this women's persistence to fight for justice on her behalf. She wanted legal protection, and even though the judge was not a God-fearing man, he grew weary in her prevail. Right after this story, a promise is given to us. If an unrighteous judge will bring justice to one who persists in asking, how much more will God bring justice for His elect who cry out to Him day and night! Then the passage goes on saying, "I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly." Sometimes I think one of the reasons we see so much injustice in the world today is because God is waiting on us. Are we really so undone and broken that we would cry out to God day and night until we see justice? Are we really sold out to God in a such a way that we would lose face, forfeit our reputation and be criticized for being super-spiritual because we authentically desire to see justice and righteousness in our own hearts? We say with our mouths we want God, but do our hearts really count that cost?
I was reading this week from Matthew and as I came upon chapter 6 is goes on and on about looking to earthly things for fulfillment. It's the "treasures" verse. We all know it. But as I was reading it this time, God began to quicken my heart. After everything is said and done He ends this way, "But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (vs. 33) It was like God was sending a reality check my way :) "Don't you see Crystal, that you will only have these things if you seek my Kingdom first!" It was like God was, once again, reminding me that I live for Him, he doesn't live for me. So many times our prayer life consists of complaints or requests, maybe even anxious thoughts. But I was beginning to see the bigger picture. Seek first the Kingdom and then those things will be of no value to you. I thought about the last time I came before God where I had no requests or anxieties. The last time I just sat with God and appreciated Him, just thanked Him and enjoyed His presence. To be quite honest, it had been awhile. Our miracles and destiny come out of relationship with God. Who wants to see their family or their husbands only on the weekend? Not me, I enjoy spending time with my husband everyday. It's the same way with God. God wants all of us, not just moments.
It's like the persistent widow. She was teaching us something about prayer. Her story is in the Bible so that we could learn how to pray. God wants us to pursue Him. He wants us to get down-right dirty in prayer. He wants us to cry out to Him day and night. I personally believe that if the Church would commit themselves to prayer, we would see an out-pouring of God's Spirit like never before. We would see justice come to unborn babies, the sanctity of marriage upheld, the ending of embryonic stem-cell research and broken homes and broken families to know the love of God. That's what prayer does, it brings access to Heaven. Persistent prayer evokes the heart of God!
If you would like to begin praying more often and want to be involved with others who do as well, I encourage you to come to the Rochester's Prayer Center all-night gathering. Their third all night prayer is March 19th @ 7PM @ Bethel Christian Fellowship and you can check it out on Facebook. RPC's vision is to begin praying together, in hope that one day there will be 24-7 prayer in the city of Rochester. This WILL only be possible if the Church of Rochester embraces it. It won't take one man, it will take the people of God. It's time we become like the persistent widow and evoke the heart of God.