Our values should dictate our decisions. What we value should impact how we live our lives. In every area of life we should be intentional to make sure that the things that we are doing (the the activities that fill our schedules) actually represent what we value.
In the Gospels, Jesus gives a great illustration what this “values dictating decisions” thing should look like with our faith.
In Luke 18, Jesus introduces us to a crazy, driven widow who continually approached the judge of a certain city, day after day she pleads with this judge for justice and protection. To story goes that this judge was incredibly wicked and corrupt, but due to this woman’s intense persistency, the judge finally listened to the widow and gave her everything she asked for. Jesus goes on to explain that if this unjust judge meets the requests of those who cry out to him, HOW MUCH MORE shall God hear and answer our prayers. Our God is good and eager to answer our prayers speedily, if only we would ask. (Luke 18:1-8)
BUT, here is the kicker….
Jesus starts this parable on the topic of prayer: “that men always ought to pray and not lose heart”. BUT, then he ends the parable with this audacious statement: “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
Jesus is essentially saying, “If you don’t pray, then you don’t have faith.”
Jesus was not afraid to say things that offended people. He is saying, if our “knee-jerk” reaction to situations in life is not prayer, then how can we say that we believe prayer works? And, how can we say we have faith in God?
Here is a good litmus test…
Is prayer your immediate response in these situations:
- When you see a prayer request on your social media newsfeed – do you say a prayer?
- When a friend shares a hard time they are going through – is your first response prayer?
- When someone you know is diagnosed with cancer – is your first response prayer for healing?
- When your life is going good – is your first response praise and thanksgiving to God?
If we believe God answers prayers, then we pray!
It is pretty simple. If we believe eating healthy is good for our body, then we eat healthy. If we believe that saving money is good in the long run, then we save money. In the same way, if we believe that God answers prayers, then we pray! Our values should dictate our decisions.
Our prayer life is our faith indicator.
The way Jesus knows if we have faith, is based on if we pray. He said if he did not see prayer on Earth then He can’t see faith.
Want there to be evidence of faith in your life? Simply start praying, expecting God to answer! Be encouraged. God hears your prayers. And if you know He hears your prayers, then you know He will answer them!
… If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.1 John 14-15 NKJV