Importunate Prayer

ImageAre you waiting on the scepter to be extended to you to enter God’s throne room much like Esther waited on the king to extend her the golden scepter to offer her admittance? How do you come? Fearful or fearless? “Afterward I will go to the king, even though it violates the law…. If I perish, I perish!” [Esther] Today, as a child of God we do need an appointment, or be fearful of this for we have this promise: Heb 4:16 Therefore let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help.  God’s door is always open, thus “Pray without ceasing.” [IThess] And although we have never seen the vision of God’s throne as John did, “jasper and carnelian in appearance, and a rainbow looking like it was made of emerald” nor have we seen Jesus transfigured as Peter, James and John did, when we enter our prayer closet it is as if we are entering that sphere where the God of the universe stops and listens; His Son Jesus intercedes and the Holy Spirit interprets.

As we read Luke 11 it is as if the disciples saw and experienced this preciousness of this heavenly scene as he prayed to His Father. It was then that when he had ceased his time alone with His Father, they asked; “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

Jesus began by teaching them “when you pray.” When, not if, but a definite time frame. As Jesus taught them a model prayer they learned much about the pattern one should consider.  Following that he gave them a parable about the importunate man who came at midnight seeking help from a friend to teach them about the persistence of prayer, a valuable lesson for all of us when we fail to receive answers due to our “laxity, faintheartedness, impatience, and timidity which is fatal..” [E.M. Bounds]  In all of this teaching, Jesus is emphasizing that we have a relationship with God by which we can come importunately seeking and expecting answers. The pattern is as follows: First: addressing of a Holy Righteous God who sits upon the throne in heaven; secondly, petitioning for our needs, thirdly seeking restoration to a state of total and complete forgiveness all because we have what God desires—a humble spirit – a humble and repentant heart He will not reject.”[Ps 51], and lastly petitioning to be guarded from the one who seeks to distract and devour us from our walk of holiness.  In all of this there is no fear, but like Esther, we are to have a determination to enter and seek boldly our answers. It is there that we seek the face of the one who is the author and finisher of our faith.

Jesus offers insight to how this works through the parable of the importunate [persistent] friend who seeks help from the source he trusts expecting an answer and not willing to depart until his request is answered. So too with Esther as she demanded the law be reversed regarding her people. We are to be as bold and assertive as both the friend and Esther. “Importunate praying is the earnest, inward movement of the heart towards God…no principle is more definitely enforced by Christ than prevailing prayer must have in it that quality which waits and perseveres, the courage that never surrenders, the patience that never grows tired, the resolution that never wavers.” [E.M. Bounds] That is what Jesus was teaching his disciples.

Beloved, today as you enter the throne room of the Lord God Almighty are you coming asking, seeking and knocking not for answers from an earthly king but the King of Kings? If so, go therefore and pray importunately for He is waiting: Psa 66:19 However, God heard; he listened to my prayer.

 

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