Our mindset on how to approach God determines the confidence we have before God.
About a year ago, I was studying Luke 18 “The parable of the Unjust Judge”, trying to determine how it relates to God hearing our prayers and releasing justice. Here it is.
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!’”
But I can never really quite understand the words of Jesus that followed the parable.
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 the earth?”
Suddenly the thought came to me. This parable is not a comparison but a contrast regarding how we should pray. The parable runs completely opposite of how we should approach our Heavenly Father.
With this idea set in place, I quickly thought of another parable that Jesus shared. It’s found in Luke 11:5-8. The parable is given as another contrast on how we approach God in prayer. The story is told of a reluctant friend who keeps knocking and knocking on the door of his buddy’s house until his friend finally and reluctantly gets up, opens the door and gives him food.
We have to conclude from these two parables that God is neither an unjust judge nor a reluctant friend!
Now I realize that there is truth in the two parables but these can never be our standard for approaching God in prayer.
There is a better way to approach the Lord in prayer. When we read the book of Esther (Esther 5-8) we discover a living parable from Esther’s life. Esther is Queen of the country when she discovers that she and the Jewish people living in the land are faced with extermination at the hands of Hamond. Things become desperate and Esther seeks justice from the King. Time was running out.
Esther’s plan for justice did not include widdling the King down with continual demands and constant floor-pounding. Her approach is baffling. She displays her beauty to the King and reminds him of their wedding vows with two banquets (Esther 5:4-5, 7:1,2). That’s it. Justice was granted to Esther and her people from a King who could not resist her beauty and devotion. She did not beg him, she did not nag him, she romanced him into a place of justice. She reminded him of their love. (More on this provided in the link below)
I think this is the true essence of effective prayer. Justice is born when intimacy is expressed. Begging and pleading, nagging and reeling might get His attention but it won’t necessarily capture His heart. Love will.
I have provided a side by side comparison of these three stories in a PDF document found in the link below. If you would like the PDF copy of this simply click the link and you will receive it straight to your desktop. *CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD
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