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Prevailing in Prayer


Luke 18:1, “Men ought to always pray, and not to faint.”

 To always pray means to pray continually — no matter the circumstances, no matter the delay, no matter how big the mountain or how deep the valley. We are not to faint or fail with Christ’s command!  We are to prevail in prayer! 

 He has given us a simple message of what we must do in order to see God’s kingdom advance in the earth, to see promises fulfilled, to see miracles happen, to see revival come, and to turn dry spiritual lives into spiritually exciting and fulfilled lives. Prevailing prayer is what has brought every move of God from Pentecost until today. Throughout the history of God’s people, prevailing prayer has brought supernatural outpourings, healings, conversions, and changes in nations. And it continues to be what is needed today. 

 Prevailing prayer will change any situation that we may be in. It will awaken us from our slumber and move us to God. It will turn religion into a relationship with God, making alive a stagnate, boring, and dull spiritual life. It will bring powerful changes to lives, homes, churches, communities, and our nation. Prevailing prayer is both private and public. We can prevail in prayer both alone with God and corporately as we come together as one body.

 Christ’s disciples were obviously moved and amazed by His prayers, and they asked Him to teach them to pray. His prayers were more than just words. They were not lip labor, as when the Pharisees prayed. Jesus’ prayers were not prayed to impress men around Him. His prayers had both passion and depth. He knew how to prevail in prayer! Because of this, His disciples wanted to learn to pray as He prayed.

 Jesus responded to their request by beginning to teach them how to pray. We learn so much about prayer in a small portion of scripture in Luke 11. We find the parable of the persistent friend who due to his persistence receives what he was asking for. Jesus talks about the three levels of prayer: to ask, to seek, and to knock. He also shares about the loving relationship between a father and his son. A father will not give his son a stone if he asks for bread.

 The first type of prayer is to ask — to call upon the Lord. Second, we must seek — searching deeper for an answer. Asking turns to seeking, showing a greater effort. The third level of prayer is knocking which implies the most intense and urgent prayer. 

 Christ gave us the key to receiving what we are praying for. If we pray the way He explained, we will receive our request. This is promised to those who prevail in prayer. If you seek and knock in greater depths of prevailing prayer, you will receive what you ask for! God will not deny even if there is a delay.

 The Lord tells us that in order to receive what we are requesting we must prevail in prayer. We must pray with importunity. We must press ahead and keep asking. We must persist, persevere, be determined, be resolute, not stop, not faint, not doubt. WE MUST PREVAIL!Daniel prayed for 21 days before receiving an answer to his prayer. He was told from the first day he began praying that his prayers were heard, but he didn’t receive an answer immediately. We may pray for something and not receive an answer in 21 days. Maybe it will take even more time to receive the answer! 

 George Müller is a great example of a man who prevailed in prayer. He was a man that proved the power of prevailing prayer. At one point in his life, he began praying for five unsaved friends. After praying for five years, one came to Christ. Years later, while he continued to pray daily for the other four, two more came to Christ. He continued to pray for the other two friends for thirty-five years! Once while speaking in Chicago he said, “I have prayed for two men by name every day for thirty-five years; on land or sea, sick or well I have remembered them before God. I shall continue to pray for them daily by name until they are saved or die.“ After these thirty-five years of praying, the fourth man received Christ. Müller prayed for his fifth friend for a total of fifty-two years. This last friend was saved after Müller had passed away. He prevailed in prayer for those five friends and each one of them came to Christ, saved from eternal damnation! Many Christians today would give up after a few years of not seeing an answer to their prayers! 

 Another example that I want to share with you of persistent prevailing prayer is a true story of a very godly Sunday school teacher who faithfully prayed for every one of her students until she saw each one of them come to the saving knowledge of Christ. Once they all did, she requested another class. Then after the same thing happened, she asked for a third class of students, and again they all came to Christ. Why and how did this happen? All her life she had been faithful to keep a journal, and after her death a friend discovered it finding where she had written that although she prayed for her students none of them came to Christ at first. It wasn’t until she decided to agonize in prayer, rather than just casually mentioning them in prayer that she began to see them come to Christ. She needed the causal, shallow prayer removed from her life. She needed the lip labor cut away. She experienced that the power of God does not come by wishing or hoping, but it comes through prevailing prayer. 

 God’s people before us did not have special talents that we don’t have. It was not because they could preach better that they experienced revivals and saw God’s power working through them. They received these manifestations of God because they were men and women of deep, sustained prayer. Prevailing prayer is prayer that leads toward a goal, to a completion. It is persevering until God gives the answers, until victory comes. 

 “Men ought to always pray and not faint!” What will we do with these words of Christ? How do we live with what He instructed us?

Let us not faint and quit praying! Let us go into our closet and prevail in prayer! Let us call others to pray with us! This is the real work of God. As long as Christ is interceding, so should His people. Let us not grow weary in prevailing prayer. Let us not fail, but let us press in and see the glory of God as our fathers did because they prevailed in prayer. This is the only way God’s kingdom will be advanced in the earth. Prevailing prayer will result in a revival in America such as we have never seen before! 

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