Hard Times, Keep Praying

This is from a series we have about different ways you can do ministry, even as things have changed. Whether you are a youth, parent, young adult, regular adult, or grandparent, we are all members of the body of Christ called to show his love to others.

Persistent Prayer

For many of you, you’re already doing this. You have been consistently praying, making sure to take time to praise the Lord and give thanks, turn away from sin in repentance, and lay requests at His feet. But you get to this one person or that specific request, and you can feel it in your heart. A little squeeze.

How long have you been praying for that person? A week, a month, a year? 5 years? 10? What about that job, this situation? You can’t remember a day that has gone by that you haven’t been praying for this. And yet, it feels like all you are getting is nothing.

As we look at the violent and heartbreaking deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and more, we wonder, how long have we been praying for the end of discrimination and prejudice in our nation? Will there ever be reconciliation?

These are all heavy things that weigh on our hearts. The next step is simple:

Have courage dear Christian. And keep praying.

Take a moment and read Luke 18:1-8

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

18 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 2 saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. 3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ 4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, 5 yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ”

6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. 7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?

We have a good, good God, faithful to his people, and abundant in love and faithfulness. Since he cares about what is right, good, and glorifies himself, He is already vastly better than the judge in the parable. But on top of all that, He also cares deeply for us personally. He cries with us, he intercedes for us. He is working in this dark and terrible mess, healing the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds (Psalm 147:3).

But we need to turn to the Source and Giver of all hope at this time and every time. We need to remain in His presence with persistence. Even when the answer is waiting, God delights in us speaking to Him.

Laura Story put it best in her book When God Doesn’t Fix It, a wonderful testimony about how the Lord carried her through a difficult portion of her life. She writes,

“When we go through trials, it’s easy for us to pray for protection from harm, for our health, for our safety, and for our own happiness. But I think God has more planned for us than those things. He’s asking us if we’ll still believe and have faith even if our life isn’t comfortable, our days are filled with trials, our prayers have not been answered the way we like, and our dreams die. He’s asking us to have faith, even during our trials, because he has more good planned for us than we could ever hope for or imagine”.

As you take the time to intentionally deepen and persist in prayer, meditate on the following Scripture of the Lord’s delight in your prayers. The prayers of God’s people are likened to a fragrant offering, and the Lord delights in the prayers you pray.

Psalm 141:1-2

1 Lord, I cry out to You;
Make haste to me!
Give ear to my voice when I cry out to You.
2 Let my prayer be set before You as incense,
The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

Daily in the inner city, hurting people are struggling to make ends meet. The lack of economic opportunities creates a constant battle against hopelessness. Many feel like outsiders to mainstream culture. These people are our neighbors, but how often do we treat them with worth and dignity?

Good people are doing great work now to bring hope to their community. A crucial support network built on programs and relationships is working bridge the wealth gap. But the truth is, only the gospel of Jesus Christ can bring radical change in a person or a neighborhood.

​EY2S is a Norfolk-based, inner-city focused, mission organization designed to equip young people to see (and meet) the need next to them. When students are equipped with the love of Christ and practical tools the inner-city is radically changed. When we send them home, they are too. And isn’t that what we’re all looking for? Learn more about their work here.

On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering mission trips, internships and job opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising for your team members. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.

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