“….to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart.” – Luke 18:1
[To lose heart means: to lose one’s motivation to accomplish some valid goal — ‘to become discouraged, to lose heart, to give up.’]
More prayer for deeper needs
Recently, we added another prayer meeting to our congregation’s schedule.
It seemed our people were in great need. Our people looked harassed and preoccupied. Some were attending the meetings sporadically. Some of the young people had slipped back into the world, other people were struggling with job issues, another desperately needed to find housing. Still others need healing, and to top it all, our congregation needed to find a new home.
So we called on the people to come and pray together, and added another prayer meeting to our schedule. After all, we have a Father, do we not? We have a Great God, who is compassionate and gracious and merciful. Our God can do all things; nothing is too hard for the Lord.
So we gathered just outside of Jerusalem, in the Biblical Garden of Yad HaShmona, a messianic village, situated in the Judean Hills, and we began to pray.
Why is the Prayer Meeting the most contested meeting
At first, many came to the meeting, but as time has gone by, the numbers have diminished.
Why does this happen? Why is the prayer meeting the most contested gathering of the congregation? Why is it so challenging for people to consistently come together to pray? Why do people lose heart?
It has to do with feedback
You don’t necessarily get feedback and assurance right away in praying, as you would with other things. We come to a prayer meeting, we lift up our voices to God, we read and pray scriptures, but there is not necessarily feedback as far as an outward sign, sound or light, or change in the atmosphere, or a voice to assure you that you have been heard. You can pray and pray and pray, and come week after week to a prayer meeting and not feel anything.
I think this is why sometimes we try to make the prayer meeting itself exciting, emotional, moving. Of course, there are times we are moved by the Spirit when we pray; there are times we feel great emotion during a prayer meeting. But those don’t necessarily make God hear us better. Nor are those times more effective than other times, when we have prayed and felt nothing.
We can be blind to the answers
Another reason we lose heart is that we don’t necessarily connect what is happening, with our prayers. In other words, we are blind to the answers. Many times the answers are not what we were expecting, or perhaps we are waiting for God to answer in a certain way, and are blind to the way He is answering.
God is answering our prayers
God has been answering our prayers in a most wonderful way. Just recently, the Lord intervened in a powerful way in the life of one of the young people who backslid. People saw it as a negative thing and did not recognize the favor of the Lord in doing what He did. Things have begun to move in the business of one whom we have been praying for, nothing dramatic, but with great potential. Woe to us if we despise the day of small things.
Naaman would have missed his healing had he insisted on drama instead of being willing to descend in the way of humility. We have seen some sweet healings, some blessed providential, protective interventions. We have also seen some small answers to our cry for revival in the congregation.
We have seen breakthroughs in the lives of people, and we have also seen some crises that have brought people to a place of decision. Not all of this is pleasant, but we recognize that the Lord is working out the answers to our prayers, in His own way.
We have even found a temporary place, in the nick of time, to tide us over as we keep searching for a place for the congregation.
We must not give up watching and praying
The parable we quoted above, ends with this verse:
I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth? – Luke 18:8
What a startling thought: Yeshua will come with the answers, for sure, but it is not certain that His elect will be there!
Thank God that He has told us not to lose heart. He is coming with the answers.
Keep praying, keep believing, and don’t lose heart…
This article originally appeared on Israel Prayer Center, August 30, 2016, and reposted with permission.