Summary: Faith in action is a life of prayer, not just any old kind of prayer, but the prayer that can keep you together when your world is falling apart.
Keeping It Together When Your World is Falling Apart
(1) Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. (2) He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. (3) And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
(4) For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, (5) yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’”
(6) And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. (7) And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? (8) I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
INTRODUCTION: The original “Keep on believing!” and “Keeping the faith!”
The Padres faithful this year have continued to sing the team’s twin theme song, “Keep on believing” and “keeping the faith.” If I remember they used the same song last year. Now either they wanted to save all their marketing dollars for Proposition C, or they have realized there is tremendous power when you keep on believing and keep the faith.
However, the original “keep on believing” and “keep the faith” encouragement does not come from the Padres, nor from baseball, it comes from this great story from Jesus. The purpose of the story Jesus tells is shared with us in verse 1: “Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”
These opening words in Luke 18 follow Jesus’ description of the end of the world in Luke 17, which ends in Luke 17:37, with this comment by Jesus, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.” Now I have the gift of discernment and that verse tells me somebody is having a bad day. When dead bodies or vultures pop into your life, you are not having a good day.
Jesus story in Luke 18 is great wisdom for those of us today who are having a “vulture” attack in life. Vulture attacks are like losing your job, battling illness, family crisis, or being financially in trouble. I don’t know what your vulture attack is today, I do that they quickly descend upon us. As we look at God’s Life Building Word today, I invite you to think of what vultures are threatening to attack and tear your world apart. For it is in those moments when it looks like the vultures are gathering around, you ask yourself:
How to Keep It Together When Your World is Falling Apart?
Jesus’ answer is simple and profound: P.R.A.Y. !!!!
Faith in action is a life of prayer, not just any old kind of prayer, but the prayer that can keep you together when your world is falling apart. The power is not in my prayer life, but in praying to our great God. As Jesus tells this story, he highlights 4 key aspects of prayer of how God can keep our life together when our world is falling apart. They are found in the acronym P.R.A.Y.
P is for POUR out your heart to God! Pray with passion! Put your whole heart into it. When you pray, pray with intensity, pray with feeling, pray with a sense of urgency, but most of all pray! Ever taken your kids shopping to figure out what they want for their birthday or Christmas. You go to the toy store and you say, “Give me some gift ideas.” And your child says, “I want this and this and this and this and this, but I really want this.” Now you know what he wants. In Jeremiah 29 we read,“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then You will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” -- Jeremiah 29:11-13
God wants you to learn to pray passionately. You usually discover He has this desire when your world start falling apart and the vultures are circling. People do one of things when life gets rough, they either withdraw from God or they dig their claws into him and will not let go.
It is unfortunate that we save our passionate praying only for emergency situations. God desires that all of our prayers to Him would be filled with passion. When you and I pray God does not measure the number of words, He looks deep into our hearts. Sometimes the most spiritual prayer you can pray when the vultures are circling around is: “Help!”