Recently, one of my children was badgering me about a particular something he wanted. He had such persistence in his plea that he would not let up. It was both comical and annoying at the same time, but it reminded me of what we should be like with the Lord in prayer. My son would not rest until he reached his desired end aim. He kept at it and was persistent even if it meant to struggle faithfully in his cause to be able to reach his final goal.
It reminds me a bit of this quote by E. M. Bounds,
“Our praying needs to be pressed and pursued with an energy that never tires, a persistency which will not be denied, and a courage that never fails.”
How many of us can say that is actually what we are like in prayer? Most people give the Lord their “Thank you Jesus for this food” or “God bless so-and-so and so-and-so” bedtime prayer that really means nothing to them and will get them nowhere. I think it is safe to say that most “modern day” praying comes out of religious habit, rather a sincere desire to commune with God. Prayer is a struggle. It is a fight between your flesh and your spirit (Matthew 26:41), your faith vs. your sight (2 Corinthians 5:7); and, it is test of your faith to see how badly you really want answers from the Lord and for His will to be done in both your life and the world around you.
M. Bounds ssaid, “When faith ceases to pray, it ceases to live.”
The Bible says in Philippians 4:6-7, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” We must pray with a perseverance and consistency that is determined to break through. Perseverant prayer and the faith of the Son of God to move mountains (Matthew 17:20) will see answers and results (As long as we pray according to the will of God, and not our own.)
We should be like the importunate widow Jesus spoke of in Luke 18:1-8, who implored a judge in her city to avenge her of her adversary. Although this judge feared not God, nor regarded man, he eventually avenged her because she kept on troubling him. He said within himself in vs. 4-5 of Luke 18, “…Though I fear not God, nor regard man; yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest she wear me out by her continual coming. “ That was the parable Jesus gave us on how we ought to always pray and not to faint.
M. Bounds comes again to my aid who said, “What a study in importunity, in earnestness, in persistence, promoted and propelled under conditions which would have disheartened any but a heroic, constant soul. [Jesus] teaches that an answer to prayer is conditional upon the amount of faith that goes to the petition. To test this, He delays the answer. The superficial pray-er subsides into silence, when the answer is delayed. But the man of prayer hangs on, and on. The Lord recognizes and honors his faith, and gives him a rich and abundant answer to His faith evidencing, importunate prayer.”
Our prayers should be as unrelenting as the importunate widow, and as my son was in his request. So, the next time you go to pray remember this, it is only when we approach God in this way, so not as to turn until our answer comes, that we will ever find out what it truly means to pray.