Long before the word “wimp” was a computer term or a descriptor for a music streaming service, it was used to describe a cowardly person who was prone to avoid taking a stand or doing one’s duty. I never have been fond of the word and I don’t use it often. Yet recently I have had a growing feeling that we who follow Christ can become “wimpish” in so many ways. As contemporary culture seeks to marginalize Christians we can find ourselves becoming silent when we ought to speak, retreating when we should be advancing and being stagnant in our faith when we are challenged to grow “in the grace and knowledge of Christ.”
In Luke 18:1, Jesus began teaching in a parable which focused on prayer. In introducing it, He offered a brief statement, “then told them a parable on the need to pray always and not become discouraged.” When friends ostracize us for being followers of Christ, it is easy to become discouraged. When you are in a minority as a Christian, you cannot help but feel discouraged.
What is the antidote for this discouragement? Jesus reminds us “to pray always.” Prayer gives us strength because we are connected to our source of power, Jesus our Lord! When we pray, we remember we are never alone. Our Lord is with us. He never leaves us or forsakes us. In prayer, we also discover that fellow Christians are in this stand for faith as well.
The opposite of being discouraged is obviously to be encouraged. Through the discipline of prayer, we become encouraged with the courage only Christ can give. We rely not on ourselves but upon Him. We are serving Christ, equipped and empowered by the presence of Christ.
Look, I have no idea what you are facing today. Nor do you have any way of knowing what I and so many others are facing. Yet, in Christ we are connected through prayer. No, I cannot explain it. I cannot give you an intellectual explanation of the power of prayer, but I have lived long enough to see its results. Like you, I don’t want to be a prayer wimp, rather I would like for us all to become prayer warriors.
Let us all pray for the strength and wisdom needed to face the challenges of this day. Like praying for daily bread in the so called Lord’s Prayer, let us pray for daily wisdom and power to serve Christ faithfully.
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