17 Jan 2008

Faithfulness in Prayer: Voice of the Psalms

Author: Bobby Valentine | Filed under: Bobby's World, Discipleship, Hebrew Bible, Kingdom, Prayer, Psalms, Spiritual Disciplines
I have written a lot about prayer in the past both on this blog and in my books. Prayer is one of those things that I desperately cling to as my lifeline in this messed up and fallen world. Sometimes however it seems as if nothing at all happens in response to my prayers. As I read the Story of God in scripture I see many others who, seemingly, felt the same way:

How long, O LORD; will you ignore me forever?
How long will you hide Your face from me?
How long will I have cares on my mind,
grief in my heart all day?” (Ps 13.1-2)

I have become quite at home with Psalm 13 in recent times. Being faithful in prayer when it seems that nothing is happening is a faith challenge. Jesus challenged us to be faithful … and he gave us a promise. I have been reminding God of this promise.

In Luke 18 has Jesus telling the story of a lady who bothered the stew out of a rather uncaring judge. She bugged the tar out of him until he basically said “Lady, I will give you what you want if you will just go away!!” Jesus applied that story directly to prayer. The question surrounding Luke 18 is basically “how will the people of God survive ‘in the meantime’?” The answer is faithfulness in prayer.

Jesus said “listen to what the unjust judge says. And will no God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you he will see that you get justice, and quickly” (18.6-8a).

This is a bold promise Jesus makes. I sometimes wonder if I am one of the “chosen ones” as I have cried to him “day and night.” It makes you wonder what the word “quickly” means too. As I keep up my vigil of knocking on the door and waiting on the just judge … I do not intend on going away. Continuing to have faith is the real challenge.

Be faithful in prayer … it is part of the “pattern” of discipleship.

Bobby Valentine

19 Responses to “Faithfulness in Prayer: Voice of the Psalms”

  1. hamiam Says:

    Bobby, long time no read…

    I’ve been contemplating a lot of things of late re: my faith and my walk, and a lot of what you said in your previous post (American Christianity and our culture) resonates with me…I’m finding more of my spiritual growth in my career than I am necessarily in my church. Hmmmm……….

    My most recent post is about imparting faith and tolerance, as Jesus’ example implores us to, to my daughter. You might like it – but it does go into taboo stuff, so maybe I’m walking the line of a heretic?

  2. Matthew Says:

    I have missed you Bobby, glad to read you again.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Praying with you, Bobby.

  4. Gallagher Says:


    Good to see you back!

    You are in our prayers! 😉

  5. blogprophet Says:

    missed your blogging.
    God bless.

  6. Zack Says:

    Greet thoughts here Bobby! Prayer is the life blood for all Christians. Persistance (spelling error?) is so important! I’ve read a couple of really good books on prayer (Prayer: The Voice of Faith by Charles Hodge and The Prayer-Driven Church by Ray Fulinwider- both excellent books).
    God bless us all to “keep on keeping on”.
    Ps I’m reading A Gathered People right now. Excellent study! I’m going to right some blogs about it starting today.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    This prayer thing is something people have wrestled with for centuries, but as trite as it sounds, God doesn’t always answer prayer the way we think he should. God’s answer to Jesus’ prayer in the garden was not what the Son asked for at all—that he avoid betrayal and crucifixion—but only the presence of ministering angels to comfort him in his great distress. So does this mean he didn’t love Jesus, or that Jesus didn’t have enough faith or pray hard enough? Hardly.

    No doubt martyrs throughout centuries have prayed for deliverance, and a few have been spared, sometimes miraculously. But does that mean those who suffered unspeakable torture didn’t have enough faith or didn’t pray hard enough? I think not.

    Yes, Jesus tells us to pray without ceasing. The Lord himself prayed up until the time Judas brought the soldiers to him and the nightmare of humiliation and agony began. As he hung naked and bleeding, gasping for breath and pinned like a vivisected animal, he cried to his Father, “Why have you forsaken me?” I don’t think he was doing that for poetic effect, or because it was a favorite memory verse from his synagogue days. He was crushed.

    Jesus never promised that we would go through this life without people hurting us. He only promised that he would be with us, always. He knows your pain and he loves you.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Hey Bobby,

    I read this great book called Kingdom Come that had some stellar instruction on prayer! Maybe I could send you a copy? LOL

    It is beautiful to see an author following his own instruction.

    Praying with you as well…

  9. AncientWanderer Says:

    Hey Bobby!

  10. Danny Says:

    Glad to see you blogging again.

    Praying with you.

  11. Wade Tannehill Says:

    I can really relate to praying a long time, seemingly without a response.

    The fact that this widow was praying for justice stands out to me, but I never hear it elaborted on too much. What does that mean exactly–“justice against my adversary?” The prayers of the faithful may not always be answered according to their preference, but the faithful WILL be vindicated against their adversaries. No one messes with a child of God and gets away with it–not ultimately!

  12. Kent Says:


    Thanks for reminding us about Psalm 13. I know I can relate to the words of the Psalmist there.


  13. Gardner Hall Says:

    Good thoughts. Having a weekend “winter camp” and our focus will be on prayer. May God help us to grow in this. “Kingdom Come” did have many excellent suggestions along this line.

  14. ben overby Says:

    I wrote about Ps. 13 in a blog sometime last year. The beginning and the end are such contrasts. The Psalmist knew, while dangling at the end of his rope, that God would be his salvation. His faith was based on God’s steadfast love. My wife and I were talking about how hard life can be, and how slow God is to act. One of the truths I’ve learned to accept over the last three grueling months is that God is going to do what He will do on His own time. At times I’ve felt rejected by Him, frustrated with Him, and in despair. But under all that is the conviction that He will be our salvation.

    I was deeply hurt by a friend a couple of weeks ago–it felt like betrayal and it literally came out of nowhere. I felt like throwing in the towel. I’ve been praying Ps. 55 this week which provides gritty language for talking to God about how it feels when hurt by those we love the most. The Psalmist even expresses the desire to just fly away from the problem.

    I don’t know what I’d do without that marvelous prayer book (Psalms). If nothing else, it shouts to me that I’m not alone in this often painful human experience.

    Grace to you, brother.

  15. Gregory Alan Tidwell Says:

    Best Wishes Always,


  16. Vonnie Says:

    I am glad to see you are blogging. I was missing it. You know I am praying.

  17. Falantedios Says:

    Just and right, justice and righteousness and justification, are all translations of the same Greek root.

    When we pray for justice against our adversary, we are praying that God will set things right – that God will make all things whole. In the midst of that wholeness, that shalom, the widow’s just cause WILL BE vindicated.

    The great challenge for us is to remember who our adversary is – the sin within us and the satan around us.

    Perseverance – sometimes we talk about it like it should be easy. The Bible describes it in ways that are as difficult as slowly and completely sawing off a limb.

    It is holy ground, and we owe our love and dedication to those persevering through storms.

    in HIS love,

  18. Frank Bellizzi Says:


    Welcome back to the land of the blogging. We DID miss you. Thanks for this thoughtful post.

  19. preacherman Says:

    I am so glad that you are back.
    I hope you had a great Christmas and New Year. I have been keeping you, your family and ministry in my thoughts and prayers. I believe a healthy prayer life is essential to every believer especially us who pastor congregations. We need God’s help and guidance more than anything. I also believe that having this healthy prayer life help us come to really KNOW God. Excellent post brother. Keep up the great work and I hope that you have a great 2008.

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