Thursday, February 28, 2013

Forsyth: importunity in prayer

Thursday, February 28, 2013
    [Jesus:] “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
    —Matthew 7:7-8 (NIV)
    Does not Christ set more value upon importunity than on submission? “Knock, and it shall be opened.” I would refer also not only to the parable of the unjust judge, but to the incident of the Syrophenician woman, where her wit, faith, and importunity together did actually change our Lord’s intention and break His custom. There there is Paul beseeching the Lord thrice for a boon; and urging us to be instant, insistent, continual in prayer. We have Jacob wrestling. We have Abraham pleading, yea, haggling, with God for Sodom. We have Moses interceding for Israel and asking God to blot his name out of the book of life, if that were needful to save Israel. We have Job facing God, withstanding Him, almost bearding Him, and extracting revelation. And we have Christ’s own struggle with the Father in Gethsemane.
    It is a wrestle on the greatest scale—all manhood taxed as in some great war, or some gre! at negotiation of State. And the effect is exhaustion often. No, the result of true prayer is not always peace.
    ... P. T. Forsyth (1848-1921), The Soul of Prayer [1916], Regent College Publishing, 2002, p. 101-102 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 7:7-8; Gen. 18:20-33; 32:24-29; Ex. 32:31-34; Deut. 1:45; Matt. 10:34; 26:36-44; Mark 7:25-30; Luke 2:36-38; 11:5-8; 18:1-8; 2 Cor. 12:7-9
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Your will brings fulfilment at the end.
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