Too often people forget that the Christian life is a marathon. Expectations sometimes get shattered, sometimes people view the Christian life with rose-tinted spectacles and disappointment can creep in, but we must never forget that God always remains faithful. Let us listen to the pastoral counsel of the Book of Hebrews (12:1-2):
Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
The Christian life is a race, it is a marathon and it requires endurance. Someone once wisely said, that the only way to learn endurance is to endure. Ecclesiastes 9:11 reminds us similarly:
Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.
We need to pray for several things because 'the race is not for the swift'. It is not speed that counts in the Christian race but patience, steadfastness and endurance. We should pray for God's grace to remain faithful and consistent during seasons of disappointment. Attending public worship on the Lord's Day is not an optional extra for Christians, it is the command of God. We should also pray that we would finish our Christian race well and ask the Lord to help us in this. Sadly, one wise minister told me once that 'few men finish well'. This is sobering but let us 'look to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith'.