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Persistence in Prayer

Persistence in Prayer

Sunday, June 11 2017

Persistence: To persevere in spite of obstacles, to endure, determination, patience.

Luke 18:1-8– Jesus spoke to them (His disciples) that men (people) always ought to pray and not lose heart or give up.

The parable that Jesus taught here is with the intention of saving people from half-hearted prayers.

Jesus wanted to teach us to guard against negligence and slothfulness in prayer and to encourage us to show persistence when praying.

Persistent prayer is a mighty move of our soul toward God. It is the ability to “hold on,” to “press on,” and to wait or be patient until you receive the answer. James 1:2-4

We used to call this “praying through.” Praying through was when you prayed until you got the answer- no matter how long it took.

Strong desire, restful patience, and inner strength to “hold on” are all part of persistent prayer.

Know this: Giving up or giving in is never an option.

It is not merely a routine of repeating words, but it is “passion” in the prayer of the soul. You have a dee inner “burning desire” to see the answer. There is nothing more important. It is not half-hearted faith, but an absolute necessity!

In our parable in Luke 18:5, “Yet because this widow trouble me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.”

This widow woman was not going to give up. Jesus said she received her answer. Luke 18:7-8 says, “Shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them. I tell you that He will avenge them speedily…”

Notice that Jesus says God “will avenge His own elect.” The “elect” are those who are His covenant people through the Blood of Jesus.

The believer who has an intimate relationship with god has the privilege of approaching God in prayer.

In James 5:16 the Word says, “The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

Fervent prayer is effective and it influences God. It is not some half-hearted, feeble prayer that is filled with words of doubt. Example: “I sure hope God hears my prayer. I guess God might answer if it is His will.”

We want our prayers to be mightily effective, igniting our spirits with faith, and this comes from being persistent.

Let’s look at a story in Matthew’s Gospel which revealed a woman who was persistent in prayer and worship.

In Matthew 15:21-28, we are told that Jesus went out of Israel to Tyre and Sidon to get away. However, His miracle-working power had been published all over the area. When a Canaanite woman heard that He was in her city, she came actively seeking him.

In Matthew 15:22-25, she cried out to Him, “‘Have mercy on me O Lord, Son of David .My daughter is severly demon-possessed.’ He did not answer. Then Jesus said, ‘I was sent only to Israel.’ Then she worshipped Him and said, “Lord, help me.’ “

You see, she was desperate. She worshipped Him. Matthew 15:26, Jesus says, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”

“Children’s bread” here represents healing and the Gentiles did not have a healing covenant with God (Exodus 15:26).

In Verse 27 the woman says, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat crumbs which fall from the master’s table.”

I will just take some crumbs if you will.

In Verse 28 Jesus says, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour.”

Persistent faith! Persistent asking!! Worship!!

Great was her faith!!

You see, God desires to reward you or avenge you ABUNDANTLY!!

Let’s look at some other examples of persistent praying.

Moses in Exodus 32:9-11, 14.

Moses prayed for forty days and nights to stop the wrath of God on His people for their sin.

Elijah repeated his prayer seven times before the rain clouds appeared (1 Kings 18:42-44).

Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. He prayed three times and even sweated drops of blood. “If this cup can pass, but not My will, Your will be done” (Matthew 26:42-44).

Jesus’ victories were all won in hours of persistent, fervent prayer. He taught us by example the importance of persistent prayer.

Persistent prayer is an inward force of ability planted and inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is the effect of the intercession of the Spirit of God in and through us. (Romans 8:26-27)

The Holy Spirit supplies us with the energy of His own determination. This urges us to keep praying until we see the answer and obtain the blessing. (Jude 20)

Today, I encourage you first of all to seek to have an intimate relationship with your Heavenly Father.

Secondly, you need a strong prayer life. This means a life full of faith, and persistent prayer.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Pray continually, for this is the will of God for you in Christ.” Did you notice that this is not a suggestion? This is a declarative sentence. It actually should read: “[YOU] pray continually.” It is a command from the Lord.

If you will follow the Lord’s command here, you will live in absolute victory and have a life full of joy and peace.

Amen!

 -Dr. Jerry Roach

Scriptures for Persistence in Prayer

Luke 18:1-8

Luke 18:5

Luke 18:7-8

James 5:16

Matthew 15:21-28

Matthew 15:22-25

Matthew 15:26

Exodus 15:26

Matthew 15:27

Matthew 15:28

Exodus 32:9-11, 14

1 Kings 18:42-44

Matthew 26:42-44

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18