Sunday, July 5, 2009

Importunate Prayer

1. urgent or persistent in solicitation, sometimes annoyingly so.
2. pertinacious, as solicitations or demands.
3. troublesome; annoying: importunate demands from the children for attention.

I love that word! Most translations call it the parable of the persistent widow. But I think the word importunate packs a lot more punch in explaining the way Jesus meant for us to pray.

I've been pondering the tale of the importunate widow these days while reading from E.M. Bounds about prayer. Honesty, my prayer life has never been fueled by this level of feistiness. I guess I just give up after a while of praying about something. After all, God knows what's best so if it's meant to come about it will. And it seems almost like a vain repetition to make a point of praying the same thing over and over again. Then there's the uncomfortable feeling of being too "name it and claim it" as if I'm trying to order God around. But...... to be really honest...... I'm just too prideful to be a pest. To be that desperate.

Blessed are the poor in spirit. I think that can very well mean blessed be the desperate. I admit that I have just not been desperate and humble enough to stand importunately before God. In fact, I've been rather mamby pamby. But I've had enough now because I've been stuck for long enough!

The words of E.M Bounds are changing my attitude. "Energy, courage and perseverance must back the prayers that heaven respects and God hears......Persistence is made up of intensity, perseverance and patience.......Faith functions in connection with prayer and of course, has its inseparable association with persistence. But the latter quality drives the prayer to the believing point."

Bounds goes on to say "The absolute necessity of persistent prayer is plainly stated in the Word of God and needs to be stated and restated today.....Love of ease, spiritual laziness, and religious indifference all operate against this type of petitioning."

I feel like I'm at a standstill within myself. I'm on a merry-go-round, revisiting the same situations over and over again. I've come to the realization that God is the only one who can help me get off. It's time to lose the pride and the self efficiency. It's time to be like those desperate ones in the Bible whose faith healed them. People like the blind Bartimaeus or the Syrophenician woman.

Here I come God. I'm going to be a pest now. I'll be here everyday, pounding on the door. Just letting you know.