And He told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.
Jesus here gives the reason for this next parable that He will share. In Matthew 13:35, Jesus explains part of the reason He is sharing these parables with us. He says by sharing these parables, He’s telling us what has been hidden since the foundation of the world. He is revealing His Kingdom, His ways, His character, and He is revealing therefore how we should respond because we now know the secret of who He is and how His Kingdom works.
In this parable, Jesus reveals a hidden thing about who He is, and by doing so, He counters something that often happens in us as humans. He saw in His disciples, as happens with us, a tendency to not always pray—and a tendency to lose heart even while praying. Jesus, therefore, wants to let us peer into heaven and give us the motivation, the revelation, of why we should always pray—that, even in the face of great injustice and suffering, even in the face of things that don’t seem to be changing, we can continue to pray. He desires that we not pray occasionally; although that’s a good start, it’s not where He wants us to live. He knows the secret because He knows who He is. In prayer we discover who God is, and by discovering who God is, we discover the secret of not losing heart.
Losing heart occurs in the absence of intimacy. Intimacy is to truly know someone. When we truly know someone, even if circumstances arise to counter that person’s character, we know that the circumstance does not redefine who they are. If we don’t know the heart of Jesus for us, and the heart of our good Father towards us, when we encounter injustice and suffering we may lose heart, for we do not know His ultimate heart for us in this present life.
Prayer is peering into eternity. Prayer allows us to see that this life, although difficult, is short in comparison to the eternity awaiting us. Prayer is the act of opening the eyes of our hearts so that we see the glory of Christ, and we see His perfect love for us. Prayer gives us glimpses that there is more to the here and now, and the end result that He has planned will turn everything into good. Prayer is loving God more than we love ourselves. Prayer is not overlooking the mustard-sized seed of the Kingdom but rather continuing to sow this seed into our present sufferings.
Would you join me in praying today? Would you join in me in not losing heart?
// Pastor Josh Kelsey