pray and never lose heart

We should always pray and never lose heart. However, in today’s world, we face many challenges, making it difficult to sustain a meaningful prayer life without losing heart. Hate, injustice, insecurity, and fear are but a few of the many challenges that confront us all the time. In addition to these things, people are trying to maintain hope in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Surrounded by so many negative hurdles, one cannot help but wonder, will there be faith on the earth when Jesus returns? More than two thousand years ago, Jesus told His disciples a story of a persistent widow to teach them about prayer and how they should pray and never lose heart, no matter how long it takes. I believe the parable contains a twofold message for believers today:

  • God is faithful
  • Examine your faith in God

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

“There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward, he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’

“Then the Lord said, ‘Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?'”

Luke 18:2-8 KJV
Parable of the Persistent Widow

The Parable of the Persistent Widow is an illustration of why we should pray and never lose heart. compares prayer sharply with fainting. If we do not pray, we will faint; it’s that simple. The word faint describes a discouraged believer. When discouragement sets in, quitting is then a real possibility. When I had a heart attack, I recall fainting physically. It is by far the most helpless feeling that I have ever experienced. While I felt myself losing consciousness, there was nothing I could do about it.

The Parable of the Persistent Widow is also an illustration for Jesus’ disciples and today’s Christians that we should relentlessly pray and never lose heart! The point is this: If an unjust judge would give justice, how much more would God, being the Just Judge, deliver justice to His people, who implore Him through prayer day and night?

Pray and Never Give Up

The Scriptures say that we should “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV). But what does it mean to pray without ceasing? Does it mean we should pray repetitious prayers? Jesus warned against praying like that in Matthew 6:5-15 KJV. Rather, it means that prayer should be as natural as breathing. Unless we are sick or suffocating, we never think about breathing. Likewise, prayer for the believer should be without effort, just like breathing.

What an interesting question our Lord asks His disciples. “When Christ returns for His people, will He really find faith on the earth?” As Christians, we profess to have faith in God and the finished work of Christ at the cross, while in many cases, God is the very last person we turn to for help. For example, the Bible says Christ was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes, we are healed (Isaiah 53:5 KJV). But when sickness attacks, we run to the doctor and forget the healing provided by the cross. It is unambiguous in Scripture that God wants us to depend solely on Him for all of our provision, including healing.

The meaning of the Parable of the Persistent Widow is evident. PRAY AND NEVER GIVE UP! Therefore, we should never cease praying until we receive a full answer to our prayers. The more we believe the words of God, the more we will pray. If we are not persistent in seeking an answer from God, we will faint and cease to pray.

Seek God

Prayer is communication between you and God. Prayer is not just talking to God. It is a two-way conversation. When we pray, we should not only talk to God but listen to Him as well. When we receive Christ, we become “children of God.” Children have the pleasure of talking to their father about anything at any time.

In several Scriptures, God encourages us to pray, and He promises to answer our prayers. In Matthew, He says:

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

Matthew 7:7-8 KJV

And again, He says in Isaiah:

“It shall come to pass that before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking, I will hear.”

Isaiah 65:24 KJV

When Christ Returns Will He Find Faith?

The last sentence of the Parable of the Persistent Widow invokes the question that we should each ask ourselves: When the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” The Bible says it is impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6). However, we must be cognizant of the fact that our faith can fail. So, what kind of faith pleases God? Hebrews chapter 11 illustrates the kind of faith that pleases God. Here are a few instances of the kind of faith that pleases God:

Excellent Testimony

“It was by faith that Abel obeyed God and brought an offering that pleased God more than Cain’s offering did. God accepted Abel and proved it by accepting his gift; and though Abel is long dead, we can still learn lessons from him about trusting God” (Hebrews 11:4 TLB).

“Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, and was not found, because  Enoch trusted God too, and that is why God took him away to heaven without dying;” (Hebrews 11:5 TLB).

Obedience

“Noah was another who trusted God. When he heard God’s warning about the future, Noah believed him even though there was then no sign of a flood, and wasting no time, he built the ark and saved his family. Noah’s belief in God was in direct contrast to the sin and disbelief of the rest of the world—which refused to obey—and because of his faith, he became one of those whom God has accepted” (Hebrews 11:7 TLB)

“Abraham trusted God, and when God told him to leave home and go far away to another land that he promised to give him, Abraham obeyed. Away he went, not even knowing where he was going. (Hebrews 11:8 TLB).

“While God was testing him, Abraham still trusted in God and his promises, and so he offered up his son Isaac and was ready to slay him on the altar of sacrifice” (Hebrews 11:17 TLB).

Recognize the Faithfulness of God

“Sarah, too, had faith, and because of this, she was able to become a mother despite her old age, for she realized that God, who gave her his promise, would certainly do what he said” (Hebrews 11:11 TLB).

Do Not Faint: Hold Fast to Hope

“These men of faith I have mentioned died without ever receiving all that God had promised them; but they saw it all awaiting them on ahead and were glad, for they agreed that this earth was not their real home but that they were just strangers visiting down here” (Hebrews 11:13 TLB).

“Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Still, others had trials of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword… wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise” (Hebrews 11:35-39 KJV).

Examine Your Faith

The recipients of faith in Hebrews chapter 11 have one thing in common: they believed in God and responded to their faith with obedience. Obedience is an important ingredient in the recipe for faith.

If you were to do an accurate assessment of your faith, based on the Bible’s description of faith, you would have to agree that you have not displayed the kind of faith that any of the Patriarchs of Hebrews chapter 11 displayed.

“And he said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant…”

Matthew 25:23 KJV

Like any Christian and servant of Christ, I would like to hear the words “well done, good and faithful servant” when I see Jesus face to face, for we shall all see Him. But when I honestly examine my faith in God, I would indeed be guilty of not having the kind of faith that pleases God. Now ask yourself, will Jesus find faith in you when He returns?

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Believing Faith is an Online Ministry, building faith through blogging Biblical content.

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Believing Faith

Recovery from Heroin
Heroin is an opioid drug made from Morphine. It belongs to the category of opium related painkillers. It looks like a white or brown powder, or a sticky black tar. Many people smoke or snort heroin, while some inject it into their veins. The number of people who use heroin has steadily risen over the years.
Why do people use heroin?
Some people take it as a means of reducing pain.
Some people take it in order to deal with anxiety, worries and other stressors.
Those who become dependent on or misuse these drugs may start looking for a stronger, cheaper, higher one.
Heroin is dangerous. Research showed that overdose death rate rose and some of these deaths happen because heroin is laced with other drugs such as this painkiller: “Fentanyl” No matter how you take it, whether by injection, snorting or smoking, heroin gets to your brain quickly and it’s also easy ever addicted. After using heroin just one or two times, it can be hard to stop yourself from using again.
Note this ✍
You see, the moment you take heroin, you get this ecstasy; this rush of happiness or good feelings just in a rush. Then after that rush of good feelings, you thinking and walking rate becomes slow; at times you feel like you are in a dream.
How does Heroin affect you?
It blocks your body from getting pain messages and slows your heart rate and breathing.
Overdosing leads to death.
What are the effects of taking Heroin?
Taking Heroin results in:
Dryness of the mouth.
Flushed skin
Drowsiness
Heavy arms and legs
Insomnia
Collapsed veins
Upset stomach
Vomiting
Itchy brain
Heart valves infection
Liver disease
Skin infection
Kidney disease
Mental disorders
Lung diseases
Menstruation problems
Miscarriages
A higher chance of getting HIV/ AIDS, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C
Have you ever tried withdrawing from Heroin on your own by personal struggles to stay sober?
If you try to stay sober from Heroin, you are likely to see these signs:
Severe muscle and bone pain
Diarrhea and vomiting
Restlessness
Cold flashes
Uncontrollable leg movements
Health problems
Disabilities
Trouble at home, work or school
Loss of white mater in the brain which affects decision making and control.
“Can I ever be free from Heroin? I want to be free”
Is this your heart’s cry? Does it really break your heart that you found yourself trapped by Heroin and you just can’t find freedom? I announce to you that you can be free! Sounds quite amazing? Yes, you can be free! Jesus paid the price for your complete dominion over Heroin. He has the power to break the chains of this addiction.
Think about the effects of being addicted to heroin. For how long will you struggle on your own, depending on yourself? Your life is so beautiful and your future is so bright, you must not allow Heroin destroy you. Your destiny is so promising and should not be truncated by Heroin. Your soul is so precious and should not be wasted by addiction to Heroin.
Dear reader, you’ve been fighting on your own to set yourself free, but the more you struggle, the more it threatens your life, future, family, health, present and eternal destiny; it even threatens the reality of living a beautiful life. Think about this!
Now, I know a Deliverer who has the power to liberate you and make you escape the snare of addiction. His name is Jesus! The Bible says, “Surely, he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:4,5)
He did that just for you!
Do you know that He is the Mediator between you and God. Despite the fact that sin, and this addiction has separated you from the One who loves you, Jesus is the Mediator. God sent Him to pay the price of Mankind’s redemption; and yes, to redeem you from sinful nature of humans and Heroin which seem stronger than you are.
You need to repent and get reconciled with God. He is a holy God; and He loves you. But you can’t access Him based on religion, depraved merits and others. That is why He sent His Sib, Jesus who is The Way. Jesus says: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, no man cometh to the Father but by me.” (John 14:6)
So, you need to believe in Jesus and repent of your sins in order to make right with God. Surrender to Jesus and welcome Him into your heart as Your Personal Lord and Saviour. He will liberate you from the chains of sin and Heroin.
Do this now!
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By Eric Dunbar

Once addicted to crack cocaine, my story is not unique but inspiring. I have been a professor of faith for most of my life. Before you inquire about my credentials, let me explain. I don’t mean professor as in “teacher” but professor as in “squatter.” For most of my life, I have been trying to occupy what I had never fully possessed, namely, faith. You see, my trust was in God long before I used drugs. To this day, I cannot tell you what happened to cause me to be addicted; it just happened. After a lifetime of serving God, somehow, I became a crack cocaine addict. I grew up in the church. I was born with talent. I started playing the organ for local churches at the age of eight years. I cultivated strong confidence in God early in life. From the time I was five until I was eighteen years old, I can’t remember ever missing a church service. I started playing keyboards in a popular R&B band at the age of nineteen years old. Midlife When you’re young, life is all about having fun, and I was indeed having a lot of fun. Playing in an R&B band exposed me to the rigors of nightlife, leading me to deviate from the church. I started experimenting with all kinds of drugs. At first, it was marijuana, then pills, and soon, I was using cocaine. All the while, I still attended church, although not as often. When I was married, my infrequent music revenue was inadequate to raise a family. So I left the band and found a job. I have always had confidence in God, but I didn’t know how to implement my faith. When my first child was born, I renewed my faith and got heavily involved in the church. A few years later, my pastor inspired me to begin a cell ministry in my home, where I faithfully worshipped God and held Bible studies every Tuesday. About seven years into my marriage, I slipped back into drug use. This time cocaine was my choice drug. Soon after, I learned to cook cocaine, converting it into a rocky substance called crack. That was the beginning of a life of trouble. I had become a slave to the drug; crack cocaine was now my master. Confident Expectation My wife threatened to leave if I didn’t control my addiction. Nevertheless, I remained confident that God would deliver me. But my wife insisted that I seek help. I wanted to save my marriage, so I enrolled in the Narcotics Anonymous Twelve Step Program. I completed the required thirty-day classes, and I went home drug-free. Fifteen days later, I was once again smoking crack. My crack smoking eventually led to my wife divorcing me. I lost my family, possessions, and everything dear to me. Life had become challenging, and I was near depression. My parents taught me that faith believes, so I understood the principle of faith. I had faith that God would liberate me, so I continued to pray that God would soon rescue me from this evil that had come upon me. One day I opened my Bible, and my eyes fell on this scripture: “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). “I don’t go to church anymore,” I said to myself, so how can I hear the word of God? Then I thought to read the word aloud to myself. The Bible was now my best friend. I read the word to myself. The word of God came out of my mouth and went back into my ears. Alas, I was hearing the word of God. I still craved crack cocaine and got high whenever the opportunity presented itself. But for the next two years, I mostly stayed to myself, reading the Bible aloud, quoting scriptures, and praying. Believing Faith Speaks After two years of practically being alone with God, my craving for crack cocaine was gone. My confidence in God rewarded me with freedom. I learned that believing faith speaks. No longer did I profess faith, but I now possessed it. Faith is having confidence in the things we hope for. Although they are not visible to our physical eyes, we believe that God is working our hope into physical existence. It is the bridge linking us to the spiritual realm and makes God a touchable reality. When we trust God, it guarantees that God’s promises and Biblical revelations are true. We cannot detect these revelations and promises of the word of God with our physical senses. However, by trusting God, we have the confidence that our expectation will come to pass. Faith is the quintessence that the things we hope for become so concrete that even belief itself becomes a definitive reality of those things that are not yet visible. Your faith becomes so tangible that you believe you possess those things in the spiritual realm.

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