Summary: Presents an easy to remember Biblical guidelines in praying through the exegesis of the Parable of the Persistent Widow in Luke 18:1-8
THE A-B-C STEPS TO GET YOUR PRAYERS ANSWERED BY GOD
What are the top three things you have been asking God to do for you? Think about that for a moment. What are the contents of your prayers? What are the things you wish God would just answer as soon as possible?
Ponder for a minute.
Ask yourself, "What do I want the Almighty God to give me?"
What steps should we take to get our prayers positively answered by God? What are the biblical steps to see our prayers a reality? Perhaps, you have prayed, "Guide me, Lord!" This is this writer’s prayer today. There could be no better guidance than the WORD of God, illumined by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, this Christian writer has undertaken to study Luke 18:1-8, in the Parable of the Persistent Widow, where Jesus tells us how to pray. Also, the verses tell us three principles we need to remember to see our prayers answered:
1 And he told them a parable, to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. 2 He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor regarded man; 3 and there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, `Vindicate me against my adversary.’ 4 For a while he refused; but afterward he said to himself, `Though I neither fear God nor regard man, 5 yet because this widow bothers me, I will vindicate her, or she will wear me out by her continual coming.’" 6 And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge says. 7 And will not God vindicate his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will vindicate them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?" (Revised Standard Version, RSV)
From these verses, three principles can be found that if observed with caution and faithfulness would make our prayers a realization. These steps are in no way manipulations of God. They are what God teaches in the Holy Bible. These principles have an acronym of A-B-C. If you know the alphabet, (which all of us does! Or you would not be reading this!) you will surely find these principles easy to remember.
Agreement with God’s Word
Principle number one starts with letter A. The principle is "Agreement with God’s Word." (Or, also Accordance with God’s Word) What we are praying for needs to be in agreement with God’s revealed will, in His Holy Word, so that we are sure that it is backed up by God’s approval. What’s the sense of asking God for something that we know He will not approve?
In the parable of the persistent widow, "agreement with God’s Word" is seen in verse 3: "vindicate me against my adversary." This widow’s cry is in agreement with Psalm 140:12: I know that the LORD maintains the cause of the afflicted, and executes justice for the needy.
Remember the prayers of Jesus in Luke 22:42: "Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." (italics mine) Also, the Lord’s prayer says, "may your will be done…" These statements did not occur by chance in the Bible, they are there to teach us the principle that our prayers need to be in agreement with God’s will - as shown in God’s word!"
Any child who asks his good father something that would harm himself, (e.g. a sharp toy) would moreover not receive it. Thus, the same case happens with our prayers. God so loves us that He would answer our prayers negatively if it is not in accordance with His Word. The Word of God is the only objective and most reliable source where we can get to know His will! Are we asking for something in accordance and in agreement with God’s Word? Or, in agreement with ourselves only? Do we have a Biblical basis for our requests? If we do not have one yet, look for it in the Bible as soon as you can. There is tremendous value in knowing that what we are asking for is what God requires and approves. If God is for us, who is against us? (Romans 8:31)
Also, we can quote to God His Word in our prayers and the Lord listens to those who asks according to His will. As John 15:7 says, "If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you." (italics mine)
The next principle starts with the letter B: "Be consistent!" This means pray, pray and keep on praying until the Lord sends His clear answer. Why keep on praying even if there seems to be no answer that’s coming? Well, if you are sure it is God’s will, you know that both God and you agree that this should be! Then if you were with God, would length of time, months, years or even decades of no answers hinder Him? Then, why should it hinder you from praying for it again?