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Text Sermons : J.R. Miller : September 22. Continue in Prayer

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"Men ought always to pray, and not give up." Luke 18:1

A great many people get discouraged in praying, because the answer does not come at once. It should be settled in the mind, first — that God always hears the true prayer, and that He will always send an answer — though it may not always be the answer which we desire. He never despises nor disregards the cry of one of His children; but sometimes for wise reasons, He delays His answer. Perhaps it is not the right time. God's plans reach out widely — and He works slowly.

Look at Joseph in Egypt — a slave, and then a prisoner. No doubt he was praying every day for release; and he may have thought at times that the answer was long in coming. But when it came — he could see that one reason for delay was that all things might be gotten ready. It took years to prepare the answer — which came at last with such blessing.

Or the reason for God's delay may be to draw out our faith, and to increase our earnestness. The story of the Syrophenician woman illustrates this. At first Jesus "did not answer her a word;" but it was for her sake, that He kept her waiting. She received a far better answer at last, than she could have received at first. Suppose she had "given up" after her first apparent repulse, think what she would have missed.

No doubt thousands of prayers are never answered — because men give up at God's delay. Perhaps you have lost many a joy and blessing — because you lost heart and faith before the answer came. A little longer patient perseverance, would have brought you a great reward.

After spending thousands of dollars in drilling for oil, the owner became discouraged and sold out for a trifle. The new purchaser started the drill, and in six hours found a flowing oil well. We see what "giving up" cost the first owner. Many Christians lose heart — just when the answer is about to be granted.





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