Prayer that Prevails

posted in: My Blog 0

November 23, 1888
“Prayer that Prevails” The Signs of the Times 14, 45.
E. J. Waggoner

There is some very important instruction given in regard to prayer, in the eighteenth chapter of Luke.

What stronger assurance that prayer will be answered can be asked for than that given in the parable of the unjust judge?
Note the contrast that is drawn.

Prayer that Prevails“There was in a city a judge which feared not God, neither regarded man.”

His own ease and self-gratification absorbed all his thoughts. From sheer heartlessness he paid no attention to the poor widow’s appeal. But she was importunate; she could not give up her claim. No doubt her little property was in the hands of some extortioner, and her living depended upon the judge’s decision.

It was a matter of life and death with her. She presses her claim at unseasonable hours. At last, the judge, fearful lest his selfish ease will be seriously interfered with, avenges her of her adversary.

He granted her request, although he had no interest in it, simply to get rid of her.

Now mark the contrast.

“And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily.”

Not for the same reason that the unjust judge avenged the poor widow, but because he pities as a father, and his ear is ever open to the prayers of his children. The invitation is: “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” “Cast thy  burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain thee.”

Let the fearful one take courage.

Do not hesitate to cast upon Him the burden that, although too heavy for your own unaided strength, seems too small to be noticed by Him.  Surely He who takes note of the tiny sparrow’s fall, and numbers the hairs of our heads, will not refuse to notice the simplest matter that affects the interest of one of His children.

If we fail to ask aid in the smallest affairs of life, we must displease God. It is a virtual denial of his willingness to interest Himself in little matters. But we should consider that God is infinitely greater than we, and the things that to us seem very great are very easy for Him to perform.

Prayer that PrevailsWe cannot grasp the infinite, therefore it is idle to speculate upon what things are great and what are small, in the eyes of God. better far to take God at his word and “in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving,” to let our requests be made known unto God.

But good and evil are ever side by side. It is easy for the human heart to be deceived, and to mistake self-confidence for faith. This is illustrated in the Pharisee’s prayer.

We seldom hear the Pharisee’s sentiments expressed so plainly, but who is not in danger of harboring them? That spirit is as much to be guarded against in our conversation as in our prayers. Many people do not speak of their own good deeds, but loudly condemn the faults of others, in order that their hearers may think that they themselves are free from such failings.

Is not this Pharisean spirit the secret of all gossip concerning scandals?

People naturally prone to evil deeds, love to dwell upon and magnify the faults of others, for by so doing they lose sight of their own. They make out so bad a case against their neighbor that their own shortcomings seem small in comparison. We all need to heed the injunction, “Let no man think more highly of himself than he ought to think.”

The publican’s prayer was answered, while the Pharisees was not heard, for “God  resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” Who wishes to have the mighty God for his adversary? Let us all read carefully and heed James 4:6-11.

Download this 1888 edition of the Signs of the Times


Leave a Reply