The dear Lord bless you. We’re so thankful that you’re tuned in to Meditation Moments.
Someone wrote and said they couldn’t find any place in the Bible the words “prayer changes things, and that we use it so many times. Well, it’s not in the Bible, but it certainly is scriptural! God’s Word teaches that, and it expresses the truth. It’s a truth that needs to be burned on the tablets of our hearts.
I think I may have said it in the past, and I don’t want to be repetitious, but I do say it again, because it needs to be said, that if prayer does change things, then oh, how we ought to devote more time in prayer! There are such needs about us, and so many things that need to be changed. But if prayer doesn’t change things, then what’s the use of praying? We might as well quit praying. But we know that it does change things. We’ve seen some things changed in just these last few weeks by prayer!
What victories we’ve seen won by saints who really knew how to pray! And we can change those things that worry and things that defeat us. Let’s pay the price, and let’s really pray and get through to God.
“Well,” you answer, “I pray, but things are not changed sometimes.” Give God time! We used to have an expression: “I’m going to pray through.” You used to hear that a great deal among Christians, and it means importunity. There is a scripture in God’s Word, in Luke, the 18th chapter, and I want to read it to you, where this word is used.
“And Jesus spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not to faint.” Now there’s our trouble, isn’t it? We do faint; we don’t just hold on until we get the answer. And Jesus said, “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 to him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while, but afterwards 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.”
Now listen to the last of this:
“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 time with them?” The Lord is just saying here, this widow by her continual coming, she got her answer to prayer. Then the Lord says, well, if that could happen with this unjust judge, shall not God avenge His own that are crying unto Him day and night?
There you are with this importunity that God’s Word speaks of. And here’s the other passage over in Luke, in the 11th chapter “And Jesus said unto them, which of you shall have a friend and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine in his journey is come to me and I have nothing to set before him?
“And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are in bed with me. I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, though he will not rise and give him because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. And I say unto you, Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
Now it’s the Lord Jesus Christ that’s speaking here, remember, and let me repeat it: He wouldn’t give to his friend just because he was his friend, but, Jesus said, “because of his importunity he will rise and give him as he needeth.” “Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.”
Dearly beloved, this isn’t just some little weak simpering sort of a coming to God and asking for something. This is an asking that’s got boldness behind it and importunity in it and a seeking and a knocking! “For everyone that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:7). That’s the Lord Jesus Christ Himself speaking here.
This can be defined as a way of one’s praying into a full faith, until you come to the assurance; with this importunity, you come to an assurance that not only has God heard you, but you yourself become actually aware, by a firm anticipation, that the things you ask for are going to come to pass.
How many times in God’s Word we read about things like this! I’ve given you two wonderful passages along this line, and there are so many others I’d like to read from God’s Word that show you that you must hold on.
You just can’t throw a little prayer up in a hurry and then complain that God doesn’t answer. There must be a waiting upon the Lord; there must be a giving God a chance. It takes time for God to answer prayer. There are so many scriptures about your waiting for the Lord. That doesn’t just mean waiting on Him in prayer—that is, praying for some time before Him—but you’re waiting, giving Him time to answer.
In Isaiah 25, it says, “Lo, this is our God, we have waited for him and he will save us. This is the Lord; we have waited for him, and so we will be glad and rejoice.” (Isaiah 25:9) And in another place, in Psalms, it says, “He shall not be afraid of evil tidings because his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.” (Psalm 112:7)
This man’s heart is fixed! The psalmist here is not just saying a little prayer, and then forgetting about it and never expecting the answer. But his heart is fixed; he’s trusting in the Lord to meet him. “His heart is established,” God’s Word says, “and he shall see his desire.” (Psalm 112:8) Wonderful scripture!
I love to read the Psalms. I get such a thrill in my soul when David comes back from a season of prayer with this wonderful assurance that God has heard him. He said, “The Lord hath heard my prayer” (Psalm 66:19).
When he went to prayer, sometimes David was almost in despair from some great trial. But then he comes back from having had this talk with God, and he said, “The Lord hath heard the voice of my weeping.” (Psalm 6:8) And in another place it says, “Verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer” (Psalm 66:19).
Beloved, you have to come to that place where you have prayed with such perseverance, with such importunity, such “holding on” in fervency until there comes the assurance to your heart that the Lord hath not turned away your prayer. As the psalmist said: “He hath not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me” (Psalm 66:20). And in the 6th Psalm, “The Lord hath heard my supplication; the Lord hath received my prayer.” (Psalm 6:9)
When you pray like that, holding on in such earnestness, such desperation as that—that’s what God’s Word [means when it] says, “the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). When you have a fixed determination like that, and you hold on like that, then the answer is going to come.
How much do you want the desire of your heart? Are you willing to meet God’s conditions? Or are you going to let little discouragements make you give up, and little obstacles block your way to victory, or what people of weak faith say frustrate you?
There are many ways of meeting crises, but the best way is to pray straight through to the heart of God. Hold on, my friend, victory is on the way. God says so, and He has promised to answer. “In due season ye will reap if ye faint not” (Galatians 6:9). “Throw not away your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward” (Hebrews 10:35).
God bless you. He is on the throne and prayer does change things.