Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said "ln a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about people. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, "grant me justice against my adversary." For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, "Even though l don't fear God or care about people, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, l will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming". And the Lord said, Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night? Will He keep putting them off? l tell you, He will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find Faith on the earth? Luke 18:1-8
Many of us would confess that we believe in prayer, yet how many of us truly believe in the power of prayer? Why are so many Christians so often defeated? Because they pray so little. The Lord Jesus is as powerful today as ever before. He is as anxious for men to be saved as ever before. His arm is not shortened that it cannot save, but he cannot stretch forth his arm unless we pray more - and more. We may be assured of this - the secret of all failure is our failure in secret prayer. We are never so high as when we are on our knees.
When I look back at the past and remember how much prayerlessness there has been in my own life, I am aware of how many missed blessings there were for myself and for others. But, this is not a time of self-condemnation; this is a time when a clarion call1 to the individual and to the Church is needed - a call to prayer. Do we realize that there is nothing the devil dreads so much as prayer? His great concern is to keep us from praying. He loves to see us up to our eyes in work - provided we do not pray. He does not fear because we are eager and earnest Bible students, provided we are little in prayer. Someone has wisely said, "satan laughs at our toiling, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray". Do we really pray? If not, then failure must dog our footsteps, whatever signs of apparent success there may be.
Let us not forget that the greatest thing that we can do for God or for man is to pray. We can accomplish far more by our prayers than by our work. Prayer is omnipotent; it can do anything that God can do! When we pray, God works. All fruitfulness in service is the outcome of prayer - of the worker's prayers, or of those who are holding up holy hands on his behalf. We all know how to pray, but perhaps many of us need to cry as the disciples did in Luke 11:1, "Lord, teach us to pray". He will answer because He wants us to pray.
1A clarion call is a powerful request for action or an irresistible mandate. It derives from the cloud of a clarion, a medieval trumpet. It is frequently used in a religious context