With Christ in the School of Prayer

Day 16 – The Power of Persevering Prayer

“And Jesus told them a story to show that they should always pray and never give up…Then the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And won’t God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night? Does he not demonstrate enduring patience towards them? I tell you, He will grant justice to them quickly.” – LUKE 18:1, 6-8.

Persevering prayer, a deep well of spiritual discipline, remains a mystery, often perplexing even the most devoted believers. This practice, as Jesus illustrates in Luke 18, is not about convincing a reluctant deity but about aligning our hearts with God’s timing and will. The persistent widow in Jesus’ parable, who sought justice from the unjust judge, mirrors our own journey of faith and persistence in prayer.

Why does an all-loving God require our continual prayers? The answer lies not in God’s need but in our own spiritual growth. Persistent prayer shapes our character, molds our desires, and aligns us with God’s purpose. It’s akin to a farmer patiently nurturing his crops, understanding that growth takes time and the harvest comes in its rightful season.

In our fast-paced world, where immediate results are often expected, the concept of waiting on God seems archaic. However, God’s timeline differs vastly from ours. His “quickly” might not align with our immediate expectations but is always perfect in its divine timing. This paradox of divine timing – a blend of patient waiting and the expectation of a swift response – is at the heart of persevering prayer.

By embracing both patience and faith, we mirror the steadfastness of biblical figures like Abraham, who “against all hope, believed in hope” (Romans 4:18). His journey wasn’t without its moments of doubt and confusion, yet his faith remained unshaken. Likewise, our journey in prayer may be marked by uncertainties and long periods of waiting. However, the assurance of God’s faithfulness keeps us anchored.

The power of persevering prayer also lies in its transformative effect on us. It’s a spiritual exercise that strengthens our faith, deepens our relationship with God, and prepares us to receive His blessings. Each repeated prayer is a step closer to spiritual maturity, a cultivation of trust and dependence on God.

In this practice, we’re called to balance our fervent requests with a heart of surrender, recognizing our timeline may not always align with God’s perfect plan. This doesn’t diminish the power of our prayers, but rather, it enriches our understanding of God’s sovereignty and love. Our continual prayers are not in vain; they are a testament to our faith and an act of worship.

Furthermore, persevering prayer is an act of humble acknowledgment that we are dependent on God’s grace. It keeps our hearts focused on Him, preventing us from becoming complacent or self-reliant. As we persist in prayer, we are reminded of our need for God and His ability to work beyond our understanding.

In the school of prayer, we learn that delays in answers are not denials. They are opportunities for growth, for strengthening our faith, and for aligning our desires with God’s will. The process of waiting is as important as the answer itself. It’s in this waiting that we grow closer to God, understand His heart better, and prepare ourselves to receive His blessings in the fullness of time.

Word in Action

This week, identify a specific area in your life or a particular request that you’ve been praying about. Commit to bringing this request before God daily, with perseverance and faith. Let your prayer be a mix of earnest request and patient waiting, trusting in God’s perfect timing.

Wonder in the Word

Reflect on a time in your life when you had to wait for an answer to prayer. How did this period of waiting affect your relationship with God? What did you learn about God’s character and His timing during this time?