Pray With Persistence

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You pray day and night in full faith. Still, God doesn’t seem to hear you. You are still jobless your friend is still seriously ill the man of your dreams is nowhere in sight. What should you do?

You may think you should do nothing because if you continue praying, God may think you lack faith. Or you may think that God is teaching you the virtue of patience so you should just accept His silence with stoic resignation.

Perhaps you think that if you pray longer and harder, God will eventually answer your prayer. After all, isn’t that what Jesus was implying in the parable he told about a man who kept knocking at his neighbour’s door in the middle of the night asking for bread, until his neighbour finally got up and gave him the bread just to make him go away (Luke 11: 5-8)?

What about the parable that Jesus told about the widow who kept coming back to an unjust judge begging for justice until she wore him out that he finally relented and granted her justice (Luke 18: 2-5)?

On the surface, it seems that you have to literally nag God and He will eventually answer and grant your heart’s desire. Pray persistently and you will get what you want. But is this really what Jesus was saying? Will God give you what you asked for just to get rid of you so that He could attend to the countless others who demand His attention?

Surely, you know God is not like that. Just remember Jesus who personifies the character of God in the flesh. The Bible shows various accounts of Him always ready to help the needy, hearing their cries and showing compassion. The truth is God always hears and answers prayers. At times, He immediately responds to a prayer with a resounding ‘Yes’ but there are also times when He responds differently in spite of persistent praying.

Still, have no doubt that God wants you to pray persistently. Why? Let’s look at the life of the apostle Paul. He had what he referred to as “a thorn in the flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7). He didn’t say what it was but it must have been a chronic and debilitating problem which at times kept him from doing his work. He prayed more than once for God to take this ‘thorn’ away. But did he get what he prayed for? No!

Yet, Paul got something better. Because he persistently prayed, he heard God’s voice and found out God’s will. He heard God say to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”(2 Corinthians: 9) Further, Paul realized that his ‘thorn in the flesh’ kept him from being conceited. He had such wonderful spiritual experiences and preaching prowess that it would have been hard not to brag about them. His ‘thorn’ kept him humble, however. He was always aware of his weakness and knew that whatever he achieved was God’s doing, not his.

You see, returning to God again and again in prayer keeps your communication lines with Him open. It gives God an opportunity to communicate with you and more importantly, gives you an opportunity to hear Him. It is usually after you have prayed and prayed that you run out of words and then, you stop talking and hear God in the silence.

Praying persistently is a way to rely on God for His solution to a problem. You may think that you know the solution so you pray and pray for it, but your solution may not be God’s. There are times when God has to bend your will to match His and it is only when you pray persistently that you begin to realize that you have to let go of your own solutions and let God work in your life. Oftentimes, our first prayers are not the best ones and so sometimes, God makes us wait. If we keep on praying, God will reshape our desires until they match His desires.

Hence, pray persistently not because you think that by doing so you will eventually get what you want, but because by doing so you are keeping your communication lines with God active which is what He wants. Don’t lose heart. Keep on praying. Otherwise, you will miss out on a great opportunity, that is, allowing God to work through you, in you and with you.

Pray for the right reasons and experience His presence, experience His goodness, experience His mercy and experience His power in your life!

About the Author

Babes Tan-Magkalas is the webmaster of St. Joseph’s Site (http://www.stjosephsite.com), a site devoted to helping people build their faith in God and the power of prayer and to promoting the devotion to St. Joseph as the Saint for all the seasons of life.
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