“Persistent praying never faints or grows weary. It is never discouraged. It never yields to cowardice, but is lifted up and sustained by a hope that knows no despair and a faith that will not let go. Persistent praying has patience to wait and strength to continue. It never prepares itself to quit praying, and it refuses to get up from its knees until an answer is received.” E. M. Bounds
Not to give up means not to faint or lose heart. It is steady prayer. It’s long-term and not for the faint-hearted. It stands firm. It displays a trust in God that says, “I am going to believe you for the answer in your way and your timing.” When we persist in prayer, we cover every aspect of the need from a variety of perspectives. We see it from the big perspective and from the tiniest aspect. We don’t forget the prayer because we carry it with us, and it’s in our routine. We knock and knock at heaven’s door. We are passionate about it.
There is not one of us who doesn’t have to be persistent in prayer. We all do. It’s part of our training for reigning. We have to learn to wait no matter how hard it is. Patience is not one of our favorite words, at least not one of mine. It’s so exciting to run around and do things but to wait and pray is hard work. And to keep from getting discouraged is another story. Many of us live in cultures where waiting is not considered a virtue. But God sees things differently than we do. Waiting is often the best use of our time. I’ve written about it often because I feel it is the important DNA of an intercessor. We have to patiently wait and persist in prayer. We have to stand firm without wavering and then we have to wait some more.
The Apostle Paul was a fast-moving individual but he learned the secret of persistent prayer. He said to the Church in Thessalonica, “Night and day we pray more earnestly that we may see you again (1 Thessalonians 3:10). To the Church in Colosse he said, “We have not stopped praying for you….” (Colossians 1:9). To the Church in Ephesus he said, “I keep asking the God of our Lord Jesus Christ…. may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation” (Ephesians 1:17).
My husband, Norm, and I used to walked around a lake for exercise in the evenings. A carnival would set up their rides and food stands right near that area. We’ve walked past it as well as through it several times on our brisk walk around the lake. Many people think traveling with a carnival must be exciting and fun. Children think it must be the most exciting life one could have! Lots of rides, hot dogs, and cotton candy all the time! We watched those carnival workers closely as we walked. They looked tired, bored, worn out, and hopeless. The weather was humid and it rained a lot, so that you had to tiptoe through the mud puddles. Often the rides had only a couple of riders. Where was all the excitement? There wasn’t any. It was hard work and persistence.
We, who represent Jesus, must be persistent, patient, and persevering in our prayers. We must be the ones who stand the strongest in persistent prayer and in every occupation in life. It’s easy to give up, but we are representing a King and living for a Kingdom that will never end. Next time you feel like quitting, look up the following verses: Luke 11:5-10, 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Luke 18:1-5, 1 Thessalonians 3:10, Col. 1:9, and Genesis 32:26. This is not the time to give up but to stand firm. We are laying hold of God’s strength as we pray. Keep on knocking on heaven’s door. It will pay off dramatically in the end, because God not only hears but He answers persistent prayer.
“Persistence has various elements – the main ones are perseverance, determination, and intensity. It begins with a refusal to readily accept denial. This develops into a determination to persevere, to spare no time or trouble until the answer comes. This grows in intensity until the whole being is given to God in supplication. Boldness comes to lay hold of God’s strength. At one time, it is quiet; at another, bold. At one point, it waits in patience, but at another, it claims at once what it desires. In whatever different shape, persistence always means and knows that God hears prayer: I must be heard.” Andrew Murray
By Debbie Przybylski
Intercessors Arise International