“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere….Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results….Never stop praying.” – Ephesians 6:18; James 5:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
Have you ever prayed for something or for someone for so long that you were tempted to give up? Have you grown weary of praying but know in your heart you should continue? The Bible encourages us to remain steadfast through the stories of men and women who faced prolonged trials or challenges yet never gave up in prayer.
Psalm 116:1–2 David says, “I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.” The apostle Paul said, “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere” (Ephesians. 6:18), He also talked about “Devote yourselves to prayer” (Colossians. 4:2) and “keep on praying.” (Romans 12:12). He also wrote to “Never stop praying” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Jesus taught and modeled persistence in prayer. Jesus told His disciples a parable of a persistent widow. It begins with an explanation of its meaning: “that they should always pray and never give up” (Luke 18:1). When Luke wrote this passage, he wanted to make Jesus’ point crystal clear: being persistent in prayer was important, even though the disciples would face harsh opposition, lose their motivation to pray, become discouraged, and be tempted to give up. Jesus knew His future disciples, you and me, would also need this encouragement.
We also read in the book of Luke how Jesus “…often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer (5:16). During His short time on earth, Jesus modeled the importance of having consistent times alone with His Father in prayer.
So what does this mean for us? Persistent prayer is a confession that I will seek what I need only from the hand of God. Being persistent in prayer means to pray consistently about something over an extended period of time. Persistently praying means to pray boldly and without giving up when we get discouraged. Persistent in prayer means not being distracted from our prayers by other things we must do, or by distractions such as television, phone calls, or texts. Persistent prayer means to pray in agreement with other Christians; for example, your church family, small group, or prayer team.
When I bring my need to Him, I am saying that He is the source of all I need. The persistent prayer says, “I will look to God for this need. I will continue to look for His supply, and I will continue to pray until God answers me. I don’t pray until something happens, I pray until God answers.” Persistent prayer is a statement of faith that my loving God will answer my prayer.
- What does persistent prayer mean to you?
- What can we do this week to become more persistent in our prayer lives?