Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. (Luke 18:1)
Strolling through the scriptures this week I discovered some nifty things about prayer. Some nifty things that encourage me to be more faithful, more diligent and more persistent in my pursuit of a deeper prayer life.
Persistence in prayer must mean… praying all the way through…until the answers comes. Not stopping. No matter what.
1. God expects us to pray persistently for ourselves.
As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, ‘Have mercy on us, Son of David!’ When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this? ‘Yes, Lord,’ they replied. Then he touched their eyes and said, ‘According to your faith will it be done to you’; and their sight was restored. (Mat 9:27–30)
Picture it…2 blind guys following JESUS. Stumbling through the streets, crying out to the LORD. And they didn’t stop. They didn’t give up. They didn’t turn back. These guys followed JESUS all the way to HIS destination…and when JESUS went indoors they caught up to HIM, they came to HIM…and they asked again. They persisted in prayer till they received their sight.
2. God desires us to pray persistently for our kids.
Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, ‘Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon possession.’ Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, ‘Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.’ He answered, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.’ The woman came and knelt before him. ‘Lord, help me!’ she said. He replied, ‘It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ she said, ‘but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.’ Then Jesus answered, ‘Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour. (Mat 15:21–28)
A desperate mother, having heard of this JESUS, and knowing that HE is in the area, pursues HIM…with a specific request…healing for her daughter. JESUS at first does not even answer her! HIS disciples then try to rid themselves of her! JESUS next states that HE won’t be helping her since she is not Jewish! Finally, as she is begging for help for her child…JESUS basically calls her nothing more than a dog! But this mama doesn’t stop…she doesn’t relent…she doesn’t give up her determined request. This desperate lady persisted in prayer till her daughter was healed.
3. GOD wants us to pray persistently for our friends.
Then he said to them, ‘Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, “Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.” ‘Then the one inside answers, “Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.” I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.’ (Luke 11:5–8)
I like this friend. I’d like to be this friend. This friend sees the need of his buddy and he wants to meet it. But he knows he can’t…so he persists in prayer. He asks and keeps asking. He is bold in his request. He is specific in his request. And he doesn’t quit till he gets what he’s asking for. This guy persisted in prayer until his friend was provided for.
I guess JESUS meant it when HE said…
‘So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.’ (Luke 11:9–10)
And I guess continuing to ask for ourselves,
persistence in seeking for our kids,
and knock, knock, knocking for our friends…
is a good way to pray in 2015.