Monday, January 23, 2012

Prophecy's Role in Prayer

Luke 18:1&8 (1) Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart. (8)  8“I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”

Jesus desire to find His people praying at His return
In this little section Jesus presents a parable on prevailing prayer.  He tells the story of a poor and oppressed woman who had appealed to an unjust judge for resolution of a situation.  Everyday she went to him, making an appeal for him to take care of the problem that was vexing her life.  Jesus tells us that this Judge cared neither for her nor her plight, however he chose to intervene in order to get her out of his hair - so to speak.  Jesus' point was that if an unjust Judge would answer the pleas of a woman He doesn't know, how much more will not the Father - who is Just and fair, hear the pleas of His people whom he loves.  Jesus then closes the section with the statement of His desire to find such prevailing prayer among His people at His return.

Why we must see the connection between prophecy and prayer
Jesus here is making an important connection for us between prayer and His second coming.  When we explore the scriptures, we discover the premium scripture places upon both.  For instance, 1/5 of the 31,000 verses of the Bible deal with prophecy or Divine statements about the future.  Of those more than 800 prophecies, 1/3 of those focus upon the most important theme in prophecy - Christ's return. 

On the prayer side of things we find over 600 recorded prayers in the Word of God.  Prayer is such a huge theme in the Bible.  In Genesis 4:26 we see prayer first mentioned, with Revelation 21:20 being the last prayer of the Bible.  In that final prayer of the Bible, we find the combinations of prophecy and prayer in these words: "He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus."

Prayer needs hope, and prophecy gives us the Hope
The Holy Ghost speaks these words through Paul in Titus 2:13 - "looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus".  Prayer by its very nature is wrestling to know God, hear God and invite God to be front and center in our thoughts and situations.  If anything, prayer needs hope - for often we find ourselves praying for people or situations where hope is in short supply.  It seems that scripture intentionally connects prayer and prophecy together to infuse our prayer lives with the Hope - Christ.  With prayer being possible because of Christ's first coming, and prophecy focusing us upon His second coming, it is clear why both need to be together.