By: Norm Rasmussen
Guarding and nurturing your faith (unwavering confidence) in God (in alignment with His wisely applied Truth) is so important, dear one! The devil works so diligently at trying to diminish our confidence in God (faith - trust) ' especially as we move day by day closer into the end times. Jesus warns us it was going to happen ' if we aren't careful and wise to keep nurturing our confidence in Him.
We find in Luke 18:8 in the Bible Jesus asking this question: 'Will the Son of Man really find faith on the earth when He returns?' (NKJV).
Many Bible scholars believe that instead of "faith" being the precise word God wanted used in the above scripture passage, He intended it to be faithFUL, which I believe has great merit. Here would be a major reason for my saying such: http://www.precious-testimonies.com/MEncouragerArchives/AreYouWorthyToEscape.htm
As one reads from Luke 18:1 through 18:8, can there be any doubt that Jesus is implying that some Christians will be struggling greatly in their prayer lives because they have so little faith in believing God will answer them, and the connection of that assumption is provided in Luke 18:1:
Then he spoke a parable to them, 'that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.'
What is obvious is that 'loosing heart' will become a lot easier to fall victim to as we move closer to our Lord's return for us if we don't guard our confidence in Him. So what insights can we get from God to keep us from 'losing spiritual heart - losing confidence in Him'?
There is nothing like having God answer prayer. When God answers our prayers, our faith builds to pray and trust even more ' with even more expectation that He will keep answering our prayers ' providing of course we haven't been praying selfish - lustful prayers that God seldom answers anyway. (Continuing to pray prayers of that nature (selfish prayers) can cause you to "lose heart" with God very quickly if you're not careful).
Not to put a damper on your praying, but God wants us also knowing: God warns us Christian husbands that we can have our prayers hindered because we may not be treating our wives as God would have us treat them. That's sobering, isn't it husbands? You can see where in the Bible God tells us that by clicking on the following link: http://biblehub.com/1_peter/3-7.htm. So this tells me that when we're in marital conflict and as the husband, if I'm not doing what God expects me to be doing in the situation, I can potentially 'lose heart' with God because it would seem my prayers aren't being responded to as much as I would like.
I'm a firm believer we husbands need to be extremely wise in how we respond to 1 Peter 3:7. I don't believe God EVER wants either man nor woman nor child to stop praying to Him. That would go against all other scriptures in the Bible exhorting us to always keep praying. But when we Christian husbands are not setting the Christ-like example in our marriages and it is driving a wedge deeper and deeper in my wife from wanting to even be around me, let alone be responsive to me the way I would want her to be because I have hurt her too much in some fashion ' God needs to somehow get the attention of us head-of-the-home husbands of the marriage. I believe that is the greatest reason He tells us that our prayers can be hindered if we aren't doing what God would have us be doing with our wives. (Of course, guys, if you have a seriously spiritually rebellious wife to deal with, then YOUR prayers may be the ONLY prayers God has to work with to keep your marriage together and wife from self-destructing spiritually, so NEVER stop praying God's blessings on your wife ' and children as well, for that matter. Let God determine which prayers He wants to answer. If we don't pray to Him period, then how can He decide to answer them or not?).
Here's a difficult yet wise question. The question each of us RIGHT NOW want to be asking ourselves is: 'How much disappointment - How much seemingly delayed silence from God - How much frustration and confusion and anger and pain would it take for me to essentially quit trusting the Lord?' NOW is the time to ponder that deeply, because the sooner we make a commitment to never let anything keep us from praying to Jesus Christ and trusting Him in the midst of our trials ' we are placing a barrier around our mind that will keep temptation away to 'lose heart' with our Lord as evil influence grows around this world.
Your prayers are very important to God to help His lordship be established in the lives of others, especially if you are praying for lost souls. Your prayers for Christians battling intense trials - I mean INTENSE trials for many - are important to God. Your prayers for praying against evil in your local church fellowship - community ' city ' state ' your country ' your country's leaders ' are vitally important to God and His will to get done.
None of us can assume God has enough people praying for a given thing ' 'therefore I can forget praying and let someone else do it.' Wouldn't Satan love it if all Christians took that attitude?
Maybe other Christians you know are growing weary and aren't praying as much as they should be ' but God can count on YOU to be the rare example in the midst of their weariness, RIGHT? I believe it ' RIGHT!
Bottom line: Satan wants us to 'lose heart' in our confidence in Christ to hear and answer our prayers. Satan wants us to stop trusting the Lord ' stop trusting in God's promises for us in His Word. Don't let him get away with it! God may not always come through for us the way we would like, in the time and/or ways we would like (because only He knows what is best in every situation) ' but we must always remember that the Holy Spirit is the One who told us to keep persisting in prayer and trust:
'Pray without ceasing.' (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,
being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all
the saints ..." (Ephesians 6:18)
"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints ..." (Ephesians 6:18)
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"And this gospel of
the kingdom [Jesus
died for sinners] shall be preached in all the world for a
witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
(Quote from Jesus Himself: Matthew 24:14).
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Another excellent writing on the above topic can be accessed by clicking on the following recommended link: http://www.christlifemin.org/home/blog/articles/demon-faith-can-it-save/