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.


Happy said...

Thank you for this post, Ruth. It was perfect timing for me. Long story which I hope to be able to share at some point, but I've been fasting and praying for something for a really long time, and there have been a couple of days this week where I've been tempted to give up, to question whether or not this is really accomplishing anything. But it is. And reading your post (funny, how i came across it just today!) reminded me that at the beginning of this journey, I started down this road because I felt like God was inviting me to wear him out with my knocking, seeking, asking - the way the woman wore out the judge.

And it's interesting how being persistent is changing me. I can't quite put my finger on what's shifting yet - but I don't pray the way I used to. And it's for the better...

Anyway, thanks. :) and hi. ;)

Ruth said...

Hi Happy - good to see you again!

It seems God is giving you a comfirmation of what he already tucked in your heart. Some strength for the journey.

Interesting that you say your persistant prayer is changing you. That's what EM Bounds says. It cultivates believing prayer.

So keep on being a pest!

jennyhope said...

oh I love you! I just needed to read this! Seriously rich. I am in that place of desperation right now. I found myself this week asking Him over to teach me how to pray and that I just didn't want to come with words that weren't from an authentic heart.

Oh and the big hair is big without any help. LOL for real give me the scoop on healthcare in Canada.

Ruth said...

HI Jenny ~ thanks for popping over. It's good to know that others are in the same place as me. I just love your passion and sense of fun. You're inspiring.

So you're wondering about the medical system...well there are the pros and cons and some extremes. It's there for everyone and I've always had quality care in the hospital. We pay only up to $75 a month per family in my province depending on financial need. We can buy extra insurance to get private rooms and other extras.

If we need it, it's there for us. I can go to my family Doctor whenever I want. However, if you have something not so urgent that requires specialized care, you have to wait. Like I'm having a knee problem and it took 4 months to see the knee doctor and another 7 months to get an MRI. If it turns out I need surgery well that might be another year. Of course I could go to a private clinic and pay out of my pocket if I want but I think I will wait.

Hope that answers your question a bit.

jennyhope said...

can I post your response on my blog?
Also, that is stinking ridiculous!!!! I can't believe the US is trying to make that kind of so called reform. I mean it totally says cut off the elderly and people with cancer. I am so angry over it. I am thankful God is in control.
I wanted to follow your blog. It is so rich but you didnt have a button to follow that I could find

Ruth said...

Sure Jenny you can post my response on your blog. I don't know about people being cut off with a new system, I think the point is that basic medical should be available to everyone like education is. I heard there are 47 million unisured Americans which is more than the population of Canada. You never hear of Canadians losing their homes and going bankrupt for medical bills. However, I think people should be able to pay for extras if they want to.

I found my following gadget! I didn't know about that. Now I have two followers. Thanks for the encouragement! Glad to have you.