“Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul. Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies; I take refuge in You.”
Our Lord Jesus taught two parables on the subject of prayer recorded in the gospel of Luke. One is the parable of the friend who visited at midnight in Luke 11:5-10. In this story one goes to a friend at the midnight hour asking for bread to feed an unanticipated visitor. The friend declines, because he and his children are already in bed, but because of the man at the door’s persistence in knocking, the friend gets up and gives him as much bread as he needs! The other parable is of the unjust judge in Luke 18:1-8. It is the story of a widow who asks a judge for legal protection from an opponent, but because the judge did not fear God or respect man, he was unwilling. Yet, because of the woman’s continual coming, the judge did give her legal protection to keep her from “wearing him out!”
David was a character in the Old Testament who had learned the value of perseverance in prayer. In Psalm 143 David lists two ways he was inspired to persist in prayer until the answer came. The first is by remembering the Lord’s past works. He says he purposely set his mind to remembering the days of old, meditating on the Lord’s doings in days gone by, musing on the work of His hands. As he did so, he described himself as a parched land with his soul longing for the Lord, stretching out his hands to Him! What a picture of one who so appreciates and meditates on the Lord’s past works that he is encouraged and inspired to persevere in prayer in his present circumstances.
Another way David is inspired to persevere in seeking the Lord in prayer is by remembering the Lord’s present way. He knew the Lord does not change (Malachi 3:6). He says, “I trust in You!” (verse 8); “I take refuge in You!” (verse 9). Is it not good to know (not just to think, or to hope) that Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8)!
In ancient China the Chinese fostered hope through theater by using a two level stage for shows. The main play was on the lower stage, while the final act was above. When the actors on the lower level were about to make a mistake, or to give up hope, the people in the audience encouraged the actors by telling them what was happening on the upper level. What a blessing to know what is happening on the upper level! The final chapter of the book of life is there for us in the Word of God. We can be encouraged and inspired to persist in believing prayer, knowing the faithfulness and truth of God’s Word!