Luke 18 – “And He spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and to not faint”
The Power of Prayer by Joanna Basham of Christ’s Sanctified Holy Church.
2017 Feast Meeting – Greensboro N.C.
Sister Joanna: I am thankful to be here among this crowd. I love this crowd. I feel a lot of love and support coming from you, which… As I was on the way here, I thought, “Well, I’ve never really lived among you.” Maybe Gene, I lived around him when I was growing up before he moved here, but I feel a lot of love and support and I feel at home when I’m here with you. And I feel like you care about me and that I get along well. And, you know, I was listening… I had a good time on the way up here. I was listening to Uncle Harry’s 1980 sermon, and if you’d listen to that one, that will make you love your church, to hear that sermon. And I do love my church. I appreciate what He’s provided for us, that we say, “I want to stroll over Heaven with you,” and constantly falling in love with each other so much while we’re serving the Lord here together. And He’s given us such a beautiful situation to go to Heaven in. And I certainly appreciate the Feast Meetings, but I thought, as I can report today that I’m happy, I’m sanctified, and I feel like I don’t live this life just barely making it, that the Lord richly blesses me. And I feel like… Of course, we go through things. We face things every day, but sometimes I feel like when we walk to the Jordan and this side was stacked up. This side of the water was stacked up, and they went straight through on dry ground. They didn’t go through a muddy ground just trying to make it. They went through on dry ground, because they were following the path that the Lord had made. Now, it wasn’t a path that man had made, because it went straight through the River Jordan, but it was the path that the Lord hath made. So I feel like I’m walking victorious with Jesus on my side, and it’s a beautiful life.
And I just wanna share with you some scripture I’ve read in the 18th chapter of St. Luke. At the very first of that chapter, it says,
And He spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and to not faint; Saying there was in a city a judge which feared not God, neither regarded man: It doesn’t sound like a very good judge. And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of my adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge sayeth. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto Him, though he bear long with them?’ I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of Man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:1-8
It’s something for us to do. We have to pray, always, and not to faint, and be full of faith in who we’re praying to. Who we’re praying to makes all the difference. A lot of people have faith in a lot of different things in this world, but if it’s not in God, then it comes to naught. But,
if we know in whom we have believed, and we are persuaded that He is able to keep that which I committed unto Him against that day, 2 Timothy 1:12
then I believe that,
the prayer faith will save the sick. James 5:5
and that whatsoever ye ask in My name He will do, if it’s in His name. Mark 11:24
So in that thought, we’ve read the scripture, too, Jesus said,
Would a father, if the son ask him for a fish, would he give him a serpent? No. What if he asked him for bread? A hungry child came to you and asked for bread, would you give them a stone? No, neither would our heavenly Father. He wants all good things for us. Matthew 7:9-11
And this chapter’s really good, but going with that thought, at the end of the 18th chapter, it says, and Jesus was very busy in this chapter, and here it says,
And it came to pass, that as He was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way begging: And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant, and they told him that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. And he cried, saying, “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me,” and they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: So he cried out, he had a petition, and he asked, and he was told to be quiet, “Be quiet. We don’t have time for you right now.” But he cried out much the more, “Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.” And Jesus stood and commanded him to be brought unto him: And when he was come near, he asked, saying, “What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?” He got the Lord’s attention. When he called, Jesus answered, brought him up and said, “What do you want? What are you calling for?” And he said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.” And Jesus said unto him, “Receive thy sight: Thy faith hath saved thee.” And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God: and all the people when they saw it, gave praise unto God. Luke 18:35-43
I think a big part of that faith, too, was that he had faith. He believed, that’s why he cried out all the more. He wouldn’t be put aside. He wouldn’t be ignored. And I want to be that way. I want to put my petition out. I want to go boldly before the throne of grace, that I may obtain mercy and find grace to help in the time of need, because we know that He is a very present help in the time of need. He doesn’t delay as that judge did delay, delay, delay, but He said He would, will avenge them speedily, His people. And I thought about prayers going up to God, and I thought about Cornelius when He told him,
Thy prayers and thy alms are come up for memorial before God. Acts 10:4
So you think your prayers aren’t heard? God hears all of our prayers. He takes note, and the only reason I can figure out why is because He loves us so much. It’s because of His love.
And then I read over here in Revelations, and it says,
And when He had taken the book,” this is the 5th chapter, “the four beasts, and four and 20 elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of the saints.” The prayers of the saints in those vials opened up, and they sang a new song, saying, “Thou art worthy to take the book and to open the seals thereof, for Thou was slain and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, and nation, and people, and nation, and hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth. Revelation 5:8-10
I’m thankful for those prayers of the saints, that they were faithful in making their prayers. And we know that in the temple they burnt the incense. Why did they do that? Because you could see that incense going up, the prayers of the saints. They were to continually be going up, and I wanna have a continual prayer in my heart. We had a little Bible study on prayer, and I was in a group with my dad, and he said, “I feel like when you’re praying the devil just can’t touch you, because you are completely focused on God, on communicating with our Father,” and, “What is your Will, Father? What would You have me to do?”
And as I thought about that, it just thrilled me to think when we’re praying it’s just like we just have that wall of protection around us. There’s nothing between us and God when we put our full focus on Him, because if we draw nigh to God, He does drawing, too, doesn’t He? He draws nigh unto us. And I’m thankful that I serve such a loving God that I can pray to, and pour my heart out to, and trust Him, trust in His goodness, and in His will for my life, that whatever He would have, if I can align myself with His will, then that’s the very best I could ever hope to have. I love the Lord. I love each one of you. Excited about Feast Meeting. I just want everyone to put it into this little service and all throughout the weekend, and remember me when you pray.