Pray Always, So That You Don't Become Discouraged

He then told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not become discouraged:
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“There was a judge in a certain town who didn’t fear God or respect man. And a widow in that town kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’

“For a while he was unwilling, but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or respect man, yet because this widow keeps pestering me, I will give her justice, so she doesn’t wear me out by her persistent coming.’”

Then the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. Will not God grant justice to His elect who cry out to Him day and night? Will He delay to help them? I tell you that He will swiftly grant them justice. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find that faith on earth?”

-Luke 18:1-8

Do you ever wonder about prayer, if you should keep praying?  Jesus says, "keep praying".

Have you been discouraged about a situation in your life? I definitely have. I realize now, that my discouragement came from not continuing to pray about it.

I thought I was discouraged because of the issue, loss, or injustice; but I now realize that I was discouraged, because I fell into the trap of giving up.  I stopped praying and subtly decided that the negative was mine to live with.

Jesus says to pray always, so that we do not become discouraged, lose heart, or give up.

The set-back, or negative situation is a call to prayer, or an opportunity for prayer.  God is a God of covenant, who moves on behalf of and in partnership with his children.  That's why we pray.

It is foolish to say, "If God wants to do it, he will do it", and passively 'hope for the best', when Jesus says, "Pray".

When we do not pray, when we stop praying, we have given up and we are not supposed to give up.  When we give up, we cease to follow Jesus' training for us and we get stalled and the kingdom advance is stalled.

I gave up.  I let the disappointment or failure define me and define God towards me.  Then I came back later and told God that since he is good, it must be me who is bad.  That 'insight' was false.

When I look at Jesus' teaching and the lady in the parable, I realize that I was massively discouraged; but not just because of my misfortune, but because I gave up on persisting in prayer.  I shut myself off from the benefit offered of coming to God in prayer, over and over, if necessary, for encouragement.  I can tell you, that just going to God to express myself is very encouraging and gives me hope.

I realize now, that when we go through a failure, a rejection, an injustice, or a loss and we act stoic, rather than praying; we end up with negative judgments toward others, ourselves, or God.  What happened was unreasonable, and when we do not process the pain and let the hurt become a prayer, we reason about it and end up with an unrighteous judgement about others, ourselves, or God, which puts us in bondage, from which we are disqualified and side-lined, until we go back and deal with it and get free.

Each disappointment in our lives needs to be brought to the Lord for redemption.

Jesus seems to indicate that those who pray get results.  Prayer is a privilege and a responsibility.   If you stop praying before something is resolved, you fall into discouragement.  And a discouraged heart can fall into offense, bitterness, and shame.

Look at what you are discouraged about in your life, and see if you stopped praying about that issue.  Get yourself clean and free from bitterness, judgement, and offense; through confessing and renouncing.  Get delivered and ask God to fill the areas where you have been infested by darkness, that you invited, through the garbage that you are now throwing out through confession and renunciation.

Start over.  Take up prayer again.  Ask God and tell God, then listen to God and receive God's love for you; and be worthy of it, because God has adopted you and loves all his children.  Give God everything - your hurts, fears, bad memories, past, and future; and let his love fill you and transform you.