Persistence Will Bring God’s Answers To Prayers
19th Sunday of Ordinary Time:
Readings: Genesis 32: 3-8, 22-30
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
The Gospel today teaches about persistence and steadfastness in order for God to answer our prayers. In the Old Testament, we read about how Jacob cheated his brother Esau so he could receive their father Isaac’s blessings. When this act of deception was discovered by Esau, he got really mad at Jacob that Jacob had to flee. He ran away and lived with his Uncle Laban where he worked and served, got married, had children. And it came to pass that Jacob now wanted to return to his homeland, because he realized that he wanted to reconcile with his brother. And one night while he rested on his journey back home, an angel came and wrestled with him until daybreak. Jacob simply would not let go until he received his blessing. And because of his persistence, his name was changed to Israel. This story teaches us about persistence, perseverance and consistency. That if we truly seek God, we will find Him. In the Gospel we see a widow who comes to an unjust judge to plead for his help and protection against her adversary. She was so persistent and kept coming to the judge even after he had rejected her. She did not want to give up. The judge was so annoyed by the widow that he finally gave in.
When Christ comes, will he find faith on the earth? When we look at the church today, is there faith? We are an impatient people. God sets standards for us and gives us His promises. But many times, we tend to question Him and ask, “why doesn’t He answer our prayer?” He has, it is us who are the problem. Sometimes when the answer is not manifested immediately, God may have a reason. He knows what’s best for us. Isaiah 62:6 “I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest.” Angels have been appointed by God to watch over us. God knows us and He loves and delights in us so much that He would send His only Son to redeem us. If His love is this great, will He deny His children? Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” We are an impatient generation that we do not want to wait for God’s answer. James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” God not only invited us to come to Him, He gave us an Advocate, Jesus Christ, to plead on our behalf. He says if two ask for anything it shall be done by His Father in heaven. We must pray and not lose heart. Many times we wonder why the answer doesn’t seem to be coming. But God has never failed. We need to trust in what He has done. Jacob did not want to give up wrestling with the angel. He wanted to be blessed and restored. He did not want to let go until he was blessed. 2 Corinthians 3:18 “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” Transformation takes time. It takes patience and faith. If God says He will do it, He will do it. We need to trust in God rather than our own feelings and emotions. 2 Corinthians 4:1 “Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.” We have been empowered to be like Christ. We are to function according to our faith and not what we think in our minds. We need to realize God’s mercy even when we doubt. 2 Corinthians 4:16 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”
While there may be delays at times when it comes to answered prayers, it will surely come. Even if the outer man is decaying, the inner man is strengthened day by day.
In this day and age, our faith is being diminished because of so many modern conveniences. Psalm 121 “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” We need to know God’s promises to us. Isaiah 40:31
“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” If we only learn to wait upon the Lord, God’s promises will surely come. Forgiveness and unity are principles we are to follow. He will not fail.