Do you pray with the understanding that Father is going to answer your prayers? Can you believe that some people pray without actually believing? I am not talking about the "wishful thinking" praying but the prayer of assured response. Jesus told us clearly that our prayer will be answered. He said ask and we would receive. He said seek and we would find. He said knock and the door would be opened. That is answered prayer with no maybe involved.
Now we are not talking selfish prayers. We are not talking about the stuff that has "me" written all over it. Pray is not done in isolation from Jesus but in deep relationship with him. He told us if we remain in him and his word remains in us we can ask whatever we wish. In that kind of intimacy, the only thing we will wish is his will. Remember, we have been crucified with Christ and we no longer live, but Christ lives in us. So there is nothing we need but Jesus. It means that our prayers are going to be all about the Kingdom.
Now, being who we are, there may be some deficiencies in our relationship with Jesus. It is amazing how Father will use our prayers to deal with these things. The answer to our prayers is a given, as we pray to glorify Father, but the timing is going to be up to him. The important thing that Jesus taught is to be persistent until it happens.
To make his point, he told the story of a judge that did not fear Yahweh or man. He was a self important man who considered there was no other authority to whom he was responsible. A widow came to this judge to receive justice. He refused the widow but the widow refused to give up until she received it. Because of her persistence the judge gave her the justice for which she was looking. Check it out in Luke 18.
Jesus was not saying that Father has this same attitude. He was saying that if such a wicked judge would give justice because of persistence, how much more our loving and compassionate Father? The point is the persistence. Just because it doesn't happen right away is no excuse to give up. We have no idea what Father is developing in us by delaying. We have no idea what he is putting in place to receive the maximum glory. We have no idea why the delay but when we are praying according to Father's will you know things are going to happen. Don't give up.
The part of this story that really concerns me is how Jesus ended it:
Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8)
I don't think we really understand what kind of trouble we are in. We have no real faith muscles. We give up far too easily. We have no persistence in prayer, no conviction of the Spirit. We are biblically illiterate and we have no expectations that Father is going to do anything. How close do you think we are to losing our faith and displaying a form of godliness with no power? Do you hear that, godliness with no power? Many of us have been there for a while.
Please, seek the face of the Lord. Ask for renewal. Ask for a fresh release of the Spirit. Ask for conviction and a new burning within you. Ask for a faith that will please Jesus. Ask, seek, knock and believe it is yours. Shake yourself up and throw off the complacency, desiring to serve the Lord with all your heart. Maybe then there will be some hope for the lost in your sphere of the world.