October 14, 2008
Until the Whistle Blows
“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”
Luke 18:1 (NIV)
My oldest son Josh played offensive line on his football team when he was younger. Solid and strong, Josh’s job on the line was to hold the opponents’ defensive line back long enough for the quarterback to do his job. The offensive line isn’t the most glamorous job on the field, but when they don’t do their job well, everyone is quick to see the results. Normally, these steadfast players hold firm, protecting their guy.
Sitting at the practices night after night, I noticed a common issue among the novice players on the field. They often stopped blocking too soon. Shouts of, “Block ‘til the whistle blows!” filled the sweaty September nights, and time and again the tired players lined back up and tried again.
The boys knew what they were supposed to do, but they often gave up when they thought the play was over. Sometimes they gave up because holding back a powerful defensive player was tiring. Unfortunately, the play wasn’t over until the coach or referee blew the whistle. Until that whistle blew, anything could happen.
The parallel to our prayer lives is astounding. Too often, I have given up praying about a concern, believing the play to be over. Perhaps I think God answered “no” when I don’t see an answer in my timeline. Sometimes I see things with human eyes, and give up too soon. I wonder how many times we’ve stopped praying just shy of experiencing healing, freedom from addiction, or the salvation of someone we love. I’m thankful my family and I never stopped praying about my dad’s salvation. He came to Christ two weeks before he died.
Just as my son learned to block until the whistle blows, may we be encouraged to pray until the trumpet blows, revealing that Jesus has returned to earth. In other words – never give up!
Heavenly Father, I praise You for Your power and majesty. There is nothing in the universe that is too big for You to handle. Help me to remember that You want to hear my prayers, and You delight in answering them when it brings glory to Your name. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Visit Glynnis Whitwer’s blog to read the touching story of her father coming to know Christ.
Intimacy with God: Your Daily Guide to Prayer by Tara Furman
31 Days of Prayer: Moving God's Mighty Hand by Ruth Myers
Identify one situation in your life that seems hopeless. Commit to praying for this concern for the next 30 days.
Is there any situation you consistently neglect to pray about?
In some respects, a person who prays for another is like the offensive lineman protecting his quarterback. Is there someone you should be praying for right now? Identify that person and pray.
Do you think your relationship with God affects how He answers your prayers? Explain.
1 Thessalonians 4:16, “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” (NIV)
Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (NIV)
John 14:12, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (NIV)
© 2008 by Glynnis Whitwer. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105