Persistence In Prayer

A reading for Wednesday, March 8, 2017: Luke 11:1-13.

How quickly do we give up on prayer? It's an ancient question that continues today...

When we ask God for something, no matter what that something is, how long are we willing to wait? How many times must we ask? What persistence does God assign to what we are asking?

Jesus was asked by his disciples for a teaching on prayer. He gave them the words to use. The words he taught were what we know today the Lord's Prayer. "Your Kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven" in some translations. Notice though, Jesus didn't stop there.

In fact, Jesus continued to teach them that persistence is also a part of learning to pray. For what man who has gone to bed will get up to give food to a neighbor, that is until the neighbor bugs him enough for what he needs. Or what parents will give their asking child a snake instead of something to eat? If you are willing to relent against persistence and give what is asked for, then how much more would God who is defined by mercy and grace do so?

There are many stories we might tell about someone who continued to pray again and again for something, and after others would long ago have given up, finally received what they were praying for. In those stories, a persistence of prayer was rewarded. Those are great stories.

Some might think, but what if I prayed and prayed and it wasn't ever granted. Is it automatic, almost like God is a holy slot machine rewarding a certain number of attempts. No, prayer changes us no matter what the outcome and during all those times when you prayed notice you were connected with and asking God. Perhaps the best answer to how to pray is simply to be in the presence of God regularly and with persistence. Maybe that is it's own reward. Is that the giving of the Holy Spirit referenced by Jesus?

It's an ancient question that we continue to ask. Don't give up on prayer so easily. If you have asked God for something in prayer, continue to pray and pray and pray never giving up. For great is God's steadfast love, to the thousandth generation...


Popular Posts