Read: Luke 18
“When the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?” (Luke 18:8, NLT)
When Jesus asked this question, “how many will I find who have faith?”, he wasn’t talking about saving faith. He was speaking of the exercise of faith by those who have been saved.
Luke has just presented Jesus’ parable about the woman who wouldn’t give up by prefacing it with the purpose for the story: To teach us that we should pray and not give up. The story is about a woman who is so persistent in hounding a very tough, uncaring judge about her case that she finally wears him down. He gives her justice simply to get her off his back and bring sanity back to his life.
Of course, Jesus isn’t comparing God to that judge. Rather, he is contrasting the two. He is saying that if an unrighteous, unfeeling judge would do that for a persistent woman, how much more would your righteous, caring Father hear your case and answer you? The answer to that question is obvious: God stands at the ready to hear your prayers and meet your needs.
Now since that is the case, then by all means, believers ought to pray and not give up. Then comes this penetrating question in the parable: When the Lord returns, will he find any of his people exercising that kind of persistent trust and expectant faith? Or will he find that they have wimped out, given up too easily, accepted the status quo in their lives and settled for less than God’s best?
Let’s make this verse really practical: Was Jesus referring to you when he asked that question? What have you given up on in prayer? A healing? The salvation of a loved one? Deliverance from a destructive addiction? Financial abundance? Greater spiritual depth, power, authority, effectiveness?
I think one of the disappointments we will have when we get to heaven—and if disappointments are possible there, I am sure they will be only momentary—will be all the unclaimed blessings and answers to prayer specifically reserved for us that were left in God’s treasury because we gave up too soon. Perhaps today is a good day to dust off some of those prayer requests you have given up on and bring them to the Righteous Judge once again. It could be that today will be a breakthrough day for you where God releases the answer you are seeking.
You never know. So why not pray—and whatever you do, don’t give up!
“It is not enough for the believer to begin to pray, nor to pray correctly; nor is it enough to continue for a time to pray. We must patiently, believingly continue in prayer until we obtain an answer.” ~George Mueller
What if God Took Over?
Offer this prayer today: “Lord, teach me to pray with the same persistent, expectant, fervent, never-say-die attitude you were describing in the parable. I don’t want one single answer reserved for me left in heaven. I want to lay claim to all that you have for me.”