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Persistent Prayer

We must continue in persistent even repetitive prayer as Jesus instructed us to do. Over the years, we have prayed for many things, and God has answered so many of our prayers. God has truly done so much through our prayers!

But of course, there are still things we pray for that have not yet been answered. 

While He was on earth, Jesus shared with us a parable that was meant to encourage us to persist in prayer, even when we don’t see the answer to prayer right away.

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” ~Luke 18:1-8 

Jesus didn’t always explain the parables, but here He makes it very clear as to what He is meaning. He says in the first verse that the purpose of this parable is that we ought to pray and not lose heart. 

This story is a motivation that we must continue to ask God in prayer until we see it fulfilled! Jesus is not saying here that you can annoy God into action, but rather that if you can annoy an unjust judge enough to act how much easier will a just and merciful God act accordingly. 

Some Christians have the false idea that we pray once and put that prayer in a little box and put the box on the shelf so to speak. In other words, we can put that one prayer away and God, who knows all things, will remember we prayed it eliminating the need to pray again. However, here in Luke Jesus is telling us that no, we must persist!

Persistent even repetitive prayer (praying the same thing over and over again) is not wrong; it is what God wants from us!

E.M. Bounds wrote, “We are to press the matter, not with vain repetitions [as the Pharisees], but with urgent repetitions. We repeat, not to count the times, but to gain the prayer. We cannot quit praying because heart and soul are in it. Christ puts importunity as a distinguishing characteristic of true praying. We must not only pray, but we must pray with great urgency, with intentness AND WITH repetition. We must not only pray, but we must pray again and again.”

Now the obvious question is: Why? Why does God require that sometimes we must be persistent? Why don’t answers come right away?

Perhaps because by praying persistently proves to Him and ourselves how serious we are about how much we want what we are praying for. Actions speak louder than words. Praying fervently, again and again, is more than just words — it’s a combination of words and action. 

Another reason God may want us to pray persistently is that it changes us as we seek Him. Persistent prayer takes us into His presence allowing us to come to know Him more. Persistent prayer causes us to focus as we turn to Him. Persistent prayer takes our mind off the cares of this world and onto His abilities and His power. 

Regardless of the reason, we are to persist in prayer!

Even as we pray day after day, month after month, year after year, let us not give up! Continue to intercede until we see the fulfillment of what we are seeking.
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