Persistent Prayer

“But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God?
‘Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it,
“Why did you make me like this? ”
Romans 9:20 (NIV)

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“Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter of soul, to those who long for death that does not come, who search for it more than for hidden treasure…”
Job 3:20-21 (NIV)

Recently I had occasion to sit and chat with a fine Christian couple who had been through great sorrow in life. They had honoured the Lord in their trials as they trusted Him with the conclusion of their difficulties.

As we spoke, I made the comment that it is natural for us to cry out “Why?” in the dark times and express our confusion of heart and mind as we seek to understand that which defies analysis.

The young lady quoted Romans 9:20 and said that we have no right to question the Lord when sorrow comes to our home. I respected her comment but then showed from Scripture that many very godly people in the Bible certainly spoke to the Lord of their confusion and distress at their trials in life and of their great desire for relief.

The Lord knows we are weak and prone to stumbling. Psalm 103:14 (NIV)

“…for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”

All of us are not only capable of stumbling and complaining but various times we all offend. James 3:2 (NIV)

“We all stumble in many ways.”

says the apostle James.

Our exchange of Scripture concluded with us agreeing that at various times we all talk as Job did in Job 3. We do not sin when we lament and give a cry of anguish and revulsion at the painful problem that invaded our space. Even our Lord spoke of His grief while on the cross and He did it in the form of a question.

“My God, my God, Why have you forsaken me?”
(Psalm 22:1; cf. Mark 15:34).

When life seems to be drowning you in sorrow, cry to the One Who made you. Lift your voice and describe how awful you feel in the situation. There is no sin in the desire for relief from the pain. If necessary, tell the Lord you feel He is far away from you. Pray Psalm 22:1-2 (NIV)

“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?
My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.”

We need to storm the gates of heaven and give the Lord no rest until He comes and answers us. Luke 18:7-8 (NIV)

“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?
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?”

Persistent prayer is needed at times when we sense that God is “putting” us off. The Lord will hear from heaven and come near to bless and give His children what they desire and need.

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