Wouldn’t prayer be much easier if God had a Drive Thru Menu and speaker? We could drive through when needed and order up some traveling mercies, a financial blessing, and a side of protection. Wouldn’t it mean that our faith was bigger if our prayers were heard and answered immediately? Jesus didn’t really seem to think so. In Luke 18 he gave us the parable of the persistent widow to teach us that “we ought always to pray and not lose heart.” Jesus ended this teaching on being persistent in prayer by raising the question, when the Son of Man returns will he find faith on the earth? It seems Jesus intended and expects us to have to pray repeatedly about certain things in our life. The Apostle MC Hammer was correct when he said, “You’ve got to pray just to make it today.” Here are 3 reasons to persist in prayer:
1. Persistent prayer is purifying prayer
When I pray persistently it purifies my prayer and separates my need from my greed. We have all prayed prayers that were more based on greed than anything else. “Give me a million dollars, give me a new house, a new car, etc.” I believe God is concerned about your provision and I believe God does want to provide for you. However, I believe God is just as concerned with getting you right as he is getting your stuff right. He may have cattle on a thousand hills, but only has one of you. God sometimes has to do something in us before he can do something for us.
2. Persistent prayer is relational prayer
Persistent prayer requires that I stop talking at God and start talking with God. Prayer at its essence is communication. It goes back to the garden when Creator would come in the cool of the day to speak with his creation. One stop prayers, Sunday corporate prayer time, and praying in a small group is great, but it doesn’t take me into the realm of relational prayer. The real power in prayer is the power of knowing and being known. God wants to know you and you need to know God. Praying consistently and persistently means that I talk with God about the good, the bad, and the ugly of my life. Consistent and persistent prayer brings me to a place of genuineness where I can know and be known.
3. Persistent prayer is faith building prayer
Somewhere right now a drastically out of shape person is signing a gym membership contract. Their hopes are high that in a few short months they will look like the pictures they see in line on the magazines at the grocery store. Unfortunately joining a gym and working out are two different things. With consistent and repeated exercise muscles get stronger and stronger. Jesus said is anyone going to persist in prayer and build strong faith. The reality is that every time I ask, I’m building my faith to receive. Every time I seek, I’m building my faith that I’m going to find in God the answers I need. Every time I know, I’m building my faith to believe that God is going to open doors for me. Don’t let your faith get weak, keep praying. When God doesn’t answer it builds trust, when God does answer it refreshes faith. Either way you will come out stronger.