Persevering in Prayer
Updated: Oct 10, 2019
We all need to learn or learn again to persevere in prayer for this is a lesson that we need to be reminded of time and time again. Now, this is important because we have all gone through times of prayerlessness. Perhaps more so than we would care to admit to other believers lest they think us to be unspiritual.
The reality is that we have all experienced times when for day, weeks, months, even years when we have failed to spend quality time with God in meaningful prayer. When our prayers have been mechanical and without meaning; when they seem to reach no further than the ceiling; and when all we are doing is going through the motions of what appears to be a meaningless exercise. The reality is that a number of you are probably experiencing such time right now if I am not mistaken.
Why do we experience such times? I would suggest it is because: Prayer is difficult. It is hard work. It is never easy. It demands great effort. And for some reason, we are unable or unwilling to meet the demands that persistent, persevering prayer demand of us.
Now while that’s true of us, it was also true of Jesus disciples. They too experienced such times. They too found prayer to be difficult and hard. Therefore, Jesus reminded them in a parable (Luke 11:5-13) of their need to persevere in prayer. He tells them of the man, whose friend visited him at midnight and being without bread, he was compelled to call upon another friend to obtain bread for his visitor. So he goes to his friend's house and bangs on the door, he shouts, he persists, he pesters his friend until his friend gets up out of bed and gives him the loaves of bread that he needed.
Now what Jesus is teaching his disciples through this parable is that if the householder was willing to give his friend bread to get rid of him. How much more willing is our Heavenly Father in giving to his children that which they both ask for and truly need! Hence in this parable, we see that the unwillingness of the householder is contrasted with the willingness of God
to grant the requests of his people, who persistently come to him in prayer.
This idea of persevering in prayer is taught many times in Scripture. However, we see this idea of persevering prayer very clearly in the life of Hannah. Who in 1 Sam. 1:27, said, “I prayed for his child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.” We also see it in the lives of Zachariah and Elizabeth in LK. 1:13, “But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zachariah your prayers have been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John.” Perhaps the principle of persistent, persevering prayer is best seen in the life of George Muller, Who prayer for two friends for 60 years before they came to faith. We like George Muller need to learn to persevere prayer if we are to honestly know God and if our lives are to count for all eternity.