Persistence in prayers can mean the difference between hope fulfilled and hope denied. Too many people are too quick with their prayers and too quick to stop them. This is a big mistake. This is such a big mistake, being too quick to stop praying that Jesus made it a point to tell His disciples to be persistent if they want their prayers answered.
Do we think we are “bugging” God with our persistence? Do we think we are not worthy of the constant asking? No, God wants this to happen. To inspire people to keep praying Jesus gave us two parables in which to learn from.
“And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” (Luke 11:5-10)
The key to this entire passage lays on the word, “importunity”. We are to be this way when it comes to praying.
“Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise” or in other words because of his audacity and shamelessness of persistence in standing at the door knocking and asking for bread. We are to be this “Importunity” as well when it comes to knocking on God’s door with our prayers and supplications. If we shamelessly and persistently ask it shows our true need of the prayer we are asking for. In short, our persistence is a value test. If we didn’t really need it we wouldn’t persist in asking.
God invariably will cause us to wait for any prayer to be answered. Not only to test our resolve but to refine our being as a child of God and to hone our character and form it to being more Christ like. In short, persistent prayer is refinement and growth in God. This takes time and it takes from us sin and rough edges and gives back holiness and righteousness.
Be ever so persistent in prayer but be prepared to walk through the fire of refinement before your prayers are answered.
Jesus spoke another parable on persistence in prayer.
“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:1-8)
If an old woman can pester a judge into submission, a judge who doesn’t even care for her or God, imagine the results we will get when we come to the ultimate Judge, who loves us, in continual prayer and supplication? As Jesus said, “I tell you that he will avenge them speedily”.
The moral to both parables of the friend and of the judge is that persistence paid off. Jesus told these parables for us to understand that we should never fail or falter in our requests to God. Too often we pray just once or twice then quit because we saw no results. What we must understand is that from the very moment our prayers first roll off of our lips the resolution to our prayers has been set into motion. Daniel gives a great example of this.
“And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.” (Daniel 10:10-13)
It was three weeks after Daniel started to pray before he say any results. Imagine if Daniel had given up out of frustrations 1 day, 7 days, 14 days or more into his praying. Would he have ever seen the angel?
Make sure your prayer is worthy then pray as if the resolution is coming right now. Be in that frame of mind every day until your prayers are answered. It might be a day, a week, a month, a year or more but if you do that than your prayers will be answered.