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Never Give Up

Daily Reading: 1 Kings 17

Scripture Focus: Then he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried to the Lord, “O Lord my God, let this child's life come into him again.” (1 Kings 17.21)

Devotional Thought: The widow had provided Elijah lodging and food. Then her son became ill and died. Elijah was mortified that that should happen when he was there in the household. Perhaps, he had been given the boy’s room. So he prayed. He prayed with desperation. He prayed with perseverance.

Elijah “stretched himself upon the child… and cried to the Lord.” Nothing happened. I can imagine that the mother was looking anxiously upon the scene. So, Elijah did it again. Still nothing. Finally, after the third cry of desperation, “O Lord my God, let this child's life come into him again,” the child’s life returned to him. Elijah’s prayer was answered.

I wonder how many prayers go unanswered because we give up too soon. I wonder how many blessings we miss because we stop praying in discouragement. Jesus thought that it was important to keep on praying, even when our prayers seemingly go unanswered. He even told his disciples “a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18.1).

And, there is no “magic number” as to how many times or how long we should persevere in prayer. Elijah prayed three times for the boy who died. But, three times is not always enough. There is a story later in 2 Kings 13, when the prophet Elisha was upset with the king of Israel because he did not strike the floor 5 or 6 times. Instead, the king struck the floor only three times. We too, must not think we can stop with just three times of our knees striking the floor when we kneel to pray.

Never give up praying.

Prayer: O God - the God who hears and answers prayer - give me a spirit of desperation and perseverance so that I never give up praying. You are faithful. Help me to be faithful as well - to the glory of your name. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 123.1-4

1 To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! 2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he has mercy upon us.

3 Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us, for we have had more than enough of contempt. 4 Our soul has had more than enough of the scorn of those who are at ease, of the contempt of the proud.

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