I have always reflected on my parental role when thinking about my relationship with God the Father. Consequently, I have never felt the need to ask My Father for something more than once because if I really think my children deserve to have something I will give it to them the first time they ask. If I feel they are not sufficiently mature to handle what is being requested or they have been irresponsible in caring for other things then I will simply say “no”, pointing out to them why I am not granting their request. In recent times, however, I have realized that there are some reasons why, in my relationship with God the Father, I may need to ask for something more than once even when He intends to grant my request.
- By nature, humans are fickle. We want this thing one minute and then we change our minds soon after. Many times, as time passes by, we realize that the need for something is not as urgent as we thought it was. Alternatively, our commitment may simply start to wane. Since the Lord knows the beginning from the end and we don’t, if He allows time to pass and the fervour and urgency of our asking persists then we can see that we are truly committed to that which we are seeking. I am reminded of the parable of the widow and the unjust judge (Lk. 18:1-8).
- Sometimes, it’s not that God is unwilling and so we have to persist. There are times when He has answered and the persistence is not to continue asking but to pray thanking Him for its manifestation. Many times it is our faith that will cause the answer to be manifested because there may be spiritual opposition to it that we do not know is taking place. Remember Daniel not getting answer to prayer until 21 days after God had sent the messenger with the answer? (Dan. 10:12-14)
- There are times when the issue is such a spiritual burden that we need to be persistent in carrying it to God so we can get relief. Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane prior to His crucifixion was a case in point (Mt. 26:36-45). In these times, we may need others to be praying with us to give spiritual support. If Jesus needed it so do we.
Persistence in prayer does not only consist of praying repetitively about a particular issue. The definition of persistence is “the fact of continuing in an opinion or course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition; the continued or prolonged existence of something.” Therefore, prayer itself should be something that we seek to do persistently. If we understand that prayer can be done in different ways we will recognize that God has given us the power of persistent pray. Prayer is simply speaking with the Father, petitioning, or interceding. We can do these forms of prayer in different ways. I do this through praise (spoken or sung), praying in tongues (that way you can even be driving and praying cause your mind is not involved and you know you are praying according to God’s will), asking the Father’s guidance throughout the day (like He is right beside you, which He is). So, if we think about it, being persistent in prayer is actually easier than it sounds. I have been practicing to pray more persistently since the beginning of 2017 and it has made such a difference in my spiritual strength, spiritual discernment, and not to mention the peace I experience knowing I am in intimate relationship with My Father.
Men always ought to pray and not lose heart. (Lk. 18:1b)