There is a good deal of controversy as to the exactness of Winston Churchill’s famous maxim, “Never, never, never give up.” No one is really sure of what Churchill said, or where he said it, but it certainly sounds like something he would have said. He was a man of unwavering conviction and determined action.
Words are only as powerful as the actions attached to them. So if you’re going to take someone’s words seriously, it matters not only what they said but also the context in which it was said. If you’re going to act on someone’s words, you need to be fully aware of the possible consequences that could come from your actions. And more often than not, these consequences always catch up with you eventually.
That is why Luke 18:1 is so important to you, personally. Think about it, dwell on it, pause for a moment in your busy life and let it wash over you in the way that only Words from God can; refreshing, restoring and reinvigorating.
Luke takes something that Jesus was telling his disciples by way of a parabl, and applies it to the mind of his readers with the heart-gripping exhortation that Jesus gave this teaching for one specific reason, “Men ought always to pray and never give up.”
Always pray never give up
This verse is truly staggering, “And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not grow tired or weary.” (Luke 18:1)
The call is to continued prayer, not in the sense of praying at all times, but in praying again and again, it’s a moral imperative. In the midst of difficulties, persecution and possible delay, we should not stop praying for justice and God’s intervention. However long God tarries, it will not be forever, God will not delay.
We often find ourselves quickly resorting to desperate measures when things get tough, instead of waiting and trusting that God will come through for us. We give up hope too easily. Luke, who observed Jesus’ teaching and lifestyle, says that the answer is to always pray and never give up, as Jesus exhorts us in the parable he gave.
In this troubled time, this is God’s Word to you!
We need to take these words of encouragement and apply them not only to ourselves, but to one another as well. We should be writing them down on fridge magnets, post-its, and our bookmarks; but we should also be using those words to encourage each other. When Jesus says we ought never to give up calling out to God, it’s a call to a relentless, persistent, and radical prayer life. It’s like Jesus is on the inside track – He knows that God is always ready and listening to our prayers.
Luke is switched on – he is recalling Jesus’ parables, and in his interaction with all the witnesses of Jesus’ ministry, he suddenly realises what it is that Jesus is doing. They need encouragement because sometimes it can seem that heaven is not hearing the cry of the heart. His response to them is, “No, no, no! Don’t give up! Don’t stop! Don’t hesitate! Keep coming to God – Carpe Diem!”
That is why you ought to pray and never give up.
It is crucial to never give up on your dreams and aspirations. It is worth it to continue fighting and praying for what you want because God can answer the prayers of your heart. Trust that God will do what only He can do. Sometimes, we feel like giving up because we think our prayers are unanswered, but we must remember that God hears the cry of our hearts. He can answer the cry of your heart that is like a ball bouncing against the windows of heaven day after day! Keep praying and never lose hope!
Luke recognised the importance of what Jesus said, saw the implications and putting pen to paper writes directly into scripture his own sermon commentary. It’s only nine words, but it says everything.
As Christians, finding ourselves in this narrative is like being passed loaded dice in life. (The analogy is crude but understandable.) We most likely all see ourselves as leaders; people who understand the greater picture of God’s plans and purposes while others are only concerned only with what’s happening in the present. We’re all in the same predicament when it comes to prayer- we tend to start off strong but then give up. Just think about if Daniel had given up praying and fasting on day 20 – once day before the archangel was about to breakthrough for him.
That’s what Luke is saying Jesus was communicating to us. We should never give up praying, no matter what.
We need to pause and take a moment to express our appreciation for Dr. Luke, who put together the stories for his gospel. He did this by talking to people, listening to their stories, and thinking about what was going on in Jerusalem a few years after the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus. Why did Jesus tell these parables? What was going on around him and in the minds of the disciples and the crowds? Luke had a moment of insight, inspired by the Holy Spirit, and he brings us the answer which we have been considering.
You can hear the whisper coming from Luke; focus on Jesus, ask for his help, don’t be overwhelmed by what you think you see – here’s the secret to your ministry…
Be relentless in your pursuit of Him.
Never give up.