Twice a year, since our founding in 1951, the entire global staff of Campus Crusade for Christ sets aside a day for prayer.
On the 22nd, we gathered with our fellow staff in a big tent on the lawn of our headquarters to worship and pray. To start the day, our devotional speaker was Daryl Smith, who leads our Cru High School ministry. Daryl’s topic, A Faith that Keeps Us Focused, ministered to us, so we’re sharing his thoughts with you.
A Faith that Keeps Us Focused
Have you ever noticed a child playing in the ocean? They’re unaware how the waves cause them to drift further and further down the shore. They’re surprised that “you moved” when they come looking for you.
In the same way, we can lose focus and drift in our walk with God, not realizing we’ve moved far from Him.
Faith-filled, Persistent Prayer
In Luke 17: 20 – 37, Jesus answers the Pharisees’ question about when the Kingdom of God would come. Jesus describes aspects of His return and then He tells the Parable of the Persistent Widow (Luke 18: 1 – 8); “a parable on the need for them to pray always and not become discouraged.”
Jesus concludes in verses 7 and 8: “And will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night? Will He keep putting them off? I tell you, He will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
Daryl pointed out the connection of faith and prayer in this passage. What does Jesus long to see when He returns? His followers planning the next big evangelistic opportunity? Not necessarily. He wonders out loud if He will find His children seeking Him in faith-filled, persistent prayer, like the widow who continued to present her petition before the unjust judge.
Daryl asked us if we really think we can do the work of God without Him. Instead, we need to fix our eyes on Jesus and to not give up in our petitions, praying in faith.
A Life of Faith and Prayer
A life of faith and prayer allows us to trust God with the unknown, the unseen, and the supernatural, This kind of life allows us to expect a greater reward from God. Daryl illustrated these points with the story of Elijah in I Kings 17. Elijah announces that God will bring a famine. God supplies his needs supernaturally through the ravens and the widow. He even raises the widow’s son from the dead.
Daryl encouraged us to:
- Focus on the knowledge of a Person, not the clarity of a plan.
- Know Who is leading us even when we may not know where we’re going. God may show us only the next step ahead. (We may look foolish to others as we walk in faith.)
- Move from what we can do to what God can do.
- Make our decisions based on His Word and not on our present realities. God’s Word trumps realities.
- Trust God, not our abilities and plans.
This message was a good reminder for me because I tend to jump in and “do” rather than praying first. What makes it hard for you to be persistent in prayer?