Yesterday we had Katy Kinard at our church. I love this song that reminds me “The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us.”
I sit writing this on a Monday morning. It’s not unprecedented. We have just come out of the two busiest weeks that I can ever remember. Last night my brain practically shut down. Watching the Eagles/Cowboys game didn’t do anything for me. Despite it being busy, it has been a good two week stretch.
Last week I didn’t write a Sunday Night Thoughts because we were with our oldest and her family for Canadian Thanksgiving. Please keep our neighbors to the north in your prayers today. It is their national election. We had a great time with the family. One of the highlights was getting Beavertails on Monday – what we Americans know as fried dough – but there’s something about street food.
Over on Facebook, you will be seeing that I have been taking pictures. Friends of ours gave us a “new to us” camera and we have enjoyed learning how to use it. I had a Minolta camera as a young person and enjoyed that. Digital photography is different, but more forgiving in ways.
The weekend was kind of crazy. Our son was home from college for a few days. Saturday we went to the Corning Museum of Glass. It was a fun few hours away from the craziness.
In the evening, we began our preparations to host Katy Kinard. She is a singer/songwriter from Nashville. Check out Be Loud Agency for more info. Katy led us in worship and presented some of her own songs as well. She is down to earth and a wonderful artist to work with.
Following worship we went out to Sprague’s Maple Farms for lunch. It is always good and I ended up bringing food home – which is rare. Then I took James back to Houghton. We will see him again at Thanksgiving.
That would be a busy day in and of itself but we also had ordination. Fortunately for us, instead of it being in Buffalo, it was right here in Olean. It was a wonderful service of ordination.
So this week should be a bit of a down week and a chance to catch up. Have a great week.
18 One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. 2 “There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people. 3 A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ 4 The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, 5 but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’”
6 Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. 7 Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”
Luke 18:1-8 New Living Translation (NLT)
Today we continue to walk our way through the gospel of Luke. Jesus tells his disciples about the importance of persistence in prayer. He does it as he usually does in the form of a parable.
There are times when we feel our prayers aren’t being heard – that our prayers are only going as far as the ceiling. Perhaps we have been praying for something so long that we think it is not worth it. Jesus reminds us that we need to be persistent in prayer, just like the widow in this story. She kept on asking the unjust judge to grant her justice. Because she was so persistent, finally the judge relented.
The same needs to be true in our prayer life. We need to be persistent. At the same time, we need to be careful that our prayers are centered on God’s justice – not our own version of God’s justice. In his letters, the disciple John writes this:
14 And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 15 And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.1 John 5:14-15
It is important that our prayers align with God’s will and what pleases him. God will not grant answers to prayer that aren’t in keeping with his commandments.
The important thing to remember is that if we ask for those things that please him and are persistent in our prayers, God will answer.
Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us, that we may continually be given to good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.