Day 162: June 11, 2013

Today's Reading(s)

Luke 18:1-14 Read Online

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Today's Reflection

Key Verse(s)

Will not God grant justice to His elect who cry out to Him day and night? Will He delay to help them?

—Luke 18:7

Persistence in Prayer
by Kay DeKalb Smith,

The pastor leaned over to me and pointed to a very small elderly woman on the front row and said, “She's the most influential woman in this church.”

I was intrigued. “Oh, she's wealthy?” I inquired.

“No,” he said. “She’s a mighty prayer warrior. Humble. Inconspicuous. But she effects the life of this Church.”

In this passage, verse seven says, “Will not God grant justice to His elect who cry out to Him day and night? Will He delay to help them?”

Justice is granted to those who cry out to God day and night! Hebrews 11:6 puts it this way: “He rewards those who seek Him.”

I was challenged by a Brentwood Baptist sister to go to God early in the morning and pray over a matter in my life. She not only challenged me to pray, but to wake up at 5:00 a.m. to do so. This seemed an impossible task to me! How could one such as I, who has needed sleep so desperately in my life, wake up so early? 

So I went to bed and told the Lord, “If this is what you require of me, wake me up in the morning at 5:00 am. I won’t set an alarm clock.”

Sure enough, the next morning, I woke up right on the dot, and was amazed that this was a possibility. Since that time, God has been faithful to wake me every morning for two years at 5:00 a.m. It still astounds me! I’m daily learning what prayer looks like.

Verse 13 paints a picture of two men with different prayer styles. One prayed about himself. He beat his chest. I can almost hear a Tarzan yell, drawing attention to himself, “Aww! Eee! Aww! Eee! Aww! God, thank you that I’m not like other men! I fast! I tithe!”

Then a tax collector came forward. He couldn’t even look up. With his face toward the ground, he heaved and sighed, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Jesus went on to say this humble man, rather than the other, went home justified before God.

Even as I’ve discovered a new place in my life for prayer, I thought it would make me more holy. But honestly, I don’t feeI holy. I feel more desperate than ever for the power of Christ in me.

At the conclusion of this passage, this a reminder to us all: “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted” (verse 14). And let’s remember Philippians 2:3-11.

Prayer is a privilege unlike anything else afforded to us who are Christ followers. Praise God for such an avenue to tap into the Father's soul. Let us not take it lightly. May we do it humbly and please God in the process.

Reflection Questions

  1. Do you pray? Be honest. Do you pray?
  2. What do your prayers sound like? Do you sound like Tarzan, flaunting your godly attributes or do you posture yourself as nothing, apart from Christ?
  3. Can you describe humility?
  4. Would you say that, by your words, deeds, and prayers, you’re humble?
  5. Maybe it would benefit each of us today to lay on the ground—yeah, actually lay on the ground—to be reminded that we’re to humble ourselves before God and exalt Him above all else.

About the Author

Kay DeKalb Smith
» Blog/Website

Kay DeKalb Smith has been called the "Carol Burnett of Christian Entertainment." Her infectious laughter and insights have honored God and touched hearts for a lifetime. As a singer, speaker, and humorist, she's spanned the globe sharing the joy of Christ. A former Opryland USA Performer, Kay has sung in two nationally-televised Billy Graham Crusades and has been on the cover of HomeLife magazine three times. She and husband Ed have been Brentwood Baptist members for four years. Ed is the President of Williamson College. Both of the Smiths are committed to pouring their lives into others for Christ's sake.