John of the Cross: Never Give Up Prayer

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Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. Luke 18:1

“Never give up prayer, and should you find dryness and difficulty, persevere in it for this very reason. God often desires to see what love your soul has, and love is not tried by ease and satisfaction.”

John of the Cross (1542-1591) in “Counsels to a Religious” in The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, translated by Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Rodriguez (Washington D.C.: ICS, 2017) 729.

Two things happened linked to the Lenten discipline of prayer in Kentucky over the last two days. I must share them as they relate to generosity and God’s provision linked to answered prayer.

Firstly, upon arrival I had a meeting and time of prayer with my hosts at Asbury Seminary. We prayed specifically that God would surprise our schools with provision for taking time away from work to grow and learn together.

God miraculously moved. Not one but two schools learned of $1 million gifts while we were convened. God reminded us afresh as colleagues that He is our Provider and that He hears our prayers.

Secondly, in giving myself in service to others while I am praying for God’s provision for Global Trust Partners, I prayed for Him to supply in a way that would show me I was supposed to be serving them.

After two long days, God surprised me with just that. He’s raised up another mighty man to stand with me and support GTP. It was not the result of my work but His work in this brother’s life. I am praising the Lord.

I don’t know where you find yourself today, but I want to encourage you to “never give up prayer.” You may be saying to yourself, “But what does faithful prayer have to do with generosity?”

Prayer reorients us to realize our role and God’s role in His work. I have been reminded to serve generously and trust God to supply abundantly. We show our love and trust in God through prayer and service. Never give up prayer.