Do not be anxious about anything, but in
everything, by prayer and petition, with
thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
When it comes to our requests, how long should we keep praying? Scripture tells us to keep praying until we receive what we are asking for or God gives us something different…better. Whenever discouragement sets in or you find yourself worrying, or you feel like you’ve lost your way, pray! When the enemy is throwing his fiery darts at you, use your spiritual weapon of prayer!
When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He gave them what we call The Lord’s Prayer and then he told the story of the man who had a guest show up at his house late at night and he had nothing to give him to eat. So he went to a friend’s house at midnight to ask for three loaves of bread. The friend said, “No” because he had already gone to bed. Jesus tells the disciples that even though the man won’t give him the bread because of their friendship, he will give it to him if he keeps knocking long enough because of his shameless persistence. Jesus says, “Keep on asking and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking and you will find. Keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you.” (Luke 11:1-9) Persistence matters!
Another time he tells the story of a persistent widow to show that they should always pray and never give up. A certain widow went to an unjust judge because she wanted justice, but the judge ignored her. So she kept asking. Since she kept going to him repeatedly asking for justice, he finally gave in and gave her what she was asking for (Luke 18:1-5). Not giving up matters!
One more example is found in 2 Corinthians 9:7-9. Paul was given a “thorn in the flesh”, a messenger from Satan to torment him. He went to the Lord three different times and begged Him to remove this “thorn” but the Lord said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So Paul stopped asking because he had the answer. He knew it was from God. Listening matters! Knowing when God has answered matters!
If you don’t have the answer, then keep praying. All three stories tell of persistence. They kept knocking, seeking and asking until they received what they were asking for or in Paul’s case, until God gave him something different; something better.
Father loves it when we keep praying. While I was praying with Jennifer LeClaire on her Mornings With the Holy Spirit call, she heard Him say (and I was led to share it with you),
Your persevering spirit thrills my heart. One of the things I appreciate most is your perseverance. Some quit before they even get started, but not you. You’ve had plenty of reason to give up…the enemy has put many obstacles in your path; man has put stumbling blocks in your way. But even when you fall down, even when life knocks you down, you don’t stay down. A righteous person falls down seven times and gets back up again. I rejoice because you always get back up. I love that about you.
Father, thank You for giving us the ability to endure, to persevere and to press on. Thank You for the strength to keep getting up again even when there is opposition, delays, mistakes made, weariness has set in, or even sin has entangled us. You are the God who has given us everything we need to live a godly life. We rejoice in Your name!