We MUST Pray
March 1, 2006 • By Ed Wrather
Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: "There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, 'Get justice for me from my adversary.' And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, 'Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.'" Then the Lord said, "Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily." - Luke 18:1-8a.
Have you ever talked to your car? I have to confess, that I have talked to a car before, when it didn’t do what I thought it ought to do. Such as when the car wouldn’t start, or it left me stranded on the side of the road. Maybe my car would have performed better, if I had given words of encouragement and lavished praise on my car, as nearly half (47%) of those in Britain are reported to do. At the beginning of a trip, those car owners who talk to their vehicles are said to give verbal encouragement to their cars; and when they are at the end of their trip, they give the vehicle praise. A survey has reported, that 40 per cent of car owners in Britain believe their car has a personality, and 19 per cent were even concerned about the feelings of their car. Maybe they have watched "Herbie, the Love Bug" too many times?
I do have a suggestion, for what to do instead of giving encouragement to a vehicle before starting on a trip, and what to do upon ending a trip. Instead of talking to your car, talk to God. Ask God for your vehicle to perform well, and for protection during the trip, and the day. Upon ending the trip, give praise not to the car, but to God. In "Experiencing God", Henry Blackaby tells of how with a car in poor condition, he drove hundreds of miles to mission churches. He says that the car was prayed there, and back, each time.
Of course, prayer should be at the forefront of things to do every day. The apostle Paul did say in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 that we should "pray continually (NIV)" ("pray without ceasing" - KJV and NKJV). In Luke 18:1, the phrase "ought to pray", does not quite communicate the emphasis that should be on prayer. "Ought to" should be translated as "must", and then the phrase would be rendered as, "they must always pray."
The parable in Luke 18, that Jesus relates, is an encouragement to never give up on prayer. We have been in a drought in the area where I live, and we are praying for rain. The rain needed to break the drought has not yet come. However, you must not give up in praying, whether for rain, or for other areas of life, because even Elijah had to pray seven times before a cloud the size of a man’s fist was seen (1 Kings 18:42-45).
We have been given a great privilege to enter into the presence of the thrice holy (Revelation 4:8), and One true God (Hebrews 4:15-17) when we pray in the Name of Jesus (John 16:23). Remember we not only "ought to pray", but we "must" pray. Also, the next time you watch "Herbie the Love Bug", remember it is... just a movie.