Read Luke Chapter 18
Communicating with God is a fundamental aspect of our spiritual life. In fact God really wants it, after all being back in relationship together with us was why He sought our reconciliation in the first place. However, this first parable focuses upon a request for justice. If justice can be sought from an unjust Judge, how much more can we trust God to ensure justice is done, whether now or at the end of all things. After all, God the just Judge found a way to have mercy upon our sin by placing it all upon Jesus, His son, thereby satisfying the demands of justice for wrong doing (sin).
Luke 18:1 “…at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart.”
God will not be mocked. God is spirit and He can see straight through to our hearts when we pray. If we think we can impress God with fancy prayers for all to see with an attitude of superiority because of our ‘self-righteousness’, we are sorely mistaken (18:9-14). God hears the prayers of a contrite heart and in fact encourages us that we should come in simplicity like a child (18:15-17).
Luke 18:13 “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!”
Our spiritual life is so vital and Jesus emphasises this with how He responds to the Rich Young Ruler; He emphasises the storing of heavenly treasure over and above earthly. It’s not that all of us should give all our stuff away to be more holy, but that our ‘treasure’, or our hearts, should be focused upon heavenly things, not earthly. Often being rich and comfortable can prevent us from needing God, but even those who don’t even realise that they are ‘poor, blind and naked’ (Revelation 3:17) need God and can be saved, because anything is possible with Him (18:18-30). Are we prepared to give up the things of this life to follow Him? The eternal rewards far outweigh the good things of this life.
Luke 18:29 “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.”
Jesus tried to tell the disciples, many times what will take place in Jerusalem regarding His mission. Jesus will have to suffer badly at the hands of men in His flesh, but the reward will far outweigh the suffering when He rises and thus, accomplishing the requirements which ensure our eternal inheritance.
Luke 18:32 “He will be handed over to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and mistreated and spit upon, 33 and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him; and the third day He will rise again.”
Bartimaeus received his sight because he asked Jesus for mercy. If an unjust Judge can be persuaded because you wore him down with your asking then surely a benevolent Heavenly Father will hear your prayers when you appeal for mercy. It is true that we don’t always get what we ask for, but you can be sure He hears. We must remember that God is not a ‘genie in a bottle’ or a vending machine, He is the God of the universe and has purpose in all that He does. He is not a force you can just tap into for all our whims and wishes, however much we believe that our requests are worthy. When you pray to God, remember to pray with an eternal perspective in mind.