Colossians 4:2a - Be persistent in prayer, (TEV)
It was two weeks before Mother's Day and Cindy Miller was desperate to earn some money so she could get a certain gift for her Mom. As she scanned through the help wanted section in the local newspaper she found an ad for a baby sitter and the house was only two blocks away. “How hard could baby sitting be?” She thought to herself and picked up the phone and called the listed number. Now, she wishes she hadn't and so does Tracy McDonald.
For the last two hours Tracy has been on the phone with Cindy listening to Cindy whine and complain about her babysitting job. “I never in my life thought a three year old girl could be such a pain.” Cindy told Tracy. “Three year old girls are suppose to sit quietly and play with baby dolls.” “Did you play with baby dolls when you were three?” Tracy asked but Cindy never quit talking long enough to hear her.
“I thought I was going to be able to just sit and watch television and talk on the phone while the pest played dolls but no way. Before I could even get comfortable on the couch I had a ton of books dropped on my lap. I told her I didn't want to read and was that ever a mistake. Every time I answered her she just kept asking Why? Why? Why? and she wouldn't quit.
“Did you...” Tracy started to ask but Cindy cut her off. “I tried to read to her but she kept interrupting me with questions. She asked more questions than the test we had in history last week. And every time I tried to answer one she started asking Why? Why? Why? I would have loved to have found a dirty old sock and shoved it in her mouth but than I probably wouldn't have gotten payed. As it was I don't think I got payed enough.”
“How much did...” Tracy tried to ask but Cindy kept right on complaining. “I wonder if I could find a dirty old sock/” Tracy thought to herself “I sure hope my mom appreciates what I had to put up with .” Cindy kept on jabbering. “Kids are nothing but a nuisance. It took me nearly three hours to get the brat to be quiet.”
Finally, Tracy had enough and decided the only way she was going to get Cindy to quit was to start asking why?. After asking why to everything Cindy said. Three minutes later Cindy fell very quiet and then Tracy heard a click and buzzzzzzzz.. “I should have thought of that sooner.” Tracy thought to herself and headed to the barn to do some chores. As for Cindy she called Stella and started complaining all over again until Stella started asking why.
Little children can be very persistent when it comes to asking why or anything else. As children of God, how persistent are we when it comes to asking?
We honestly and earnestly pray to God to give us blessings, and he withholds them. The sickness is not removed, the life not spared, the burden not lightened, the child not reclaimed, the friend not reconciled, the cause not blessed, the wrong not stayed, the faithful not delivered; and the hearts of the people of God are filled with sorrow and dismay; and the question that rises to their lips is, “How long, O Lord, how long will you not respond?” And we give up asking, we give up praying just like that.
We have many exampled of people praying in the Bible, people who didn't just say a simple short prayer and then go on, They kept praying, and they kept coming back to pray. I can think of Hannah praying for a child, Daniel under threat of a lion's den continuing 3 times a day, the apostles and the early church that dedicated themselves to prayer and let's not forget Jesus who at times would pray all night.
Jesus used two different parables to teach us to be persistent in our praying and to not give up. The first parable is in Luke 11:5-8 He also said to them: “Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I don’t have anything to offer him.’ Then he will answer from inside and say, ‘Don’t bother me! The door is already locked, and my children and I have gone to bed. I can’t get up to give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he won’t get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence, he will get up and give him as much as he needs. (HCSB)
The second parable is in Luke 18:1-7 One day Jesus told his disciples a story to illustrate their need for constant prayer and to show them that they must keep praying until the answer comes. "There was a city judge," he said, "a very godless man who had great contempt for everyone. A widow of that city came to him frequently to appeal for justice against a man who had harmed her. The judge ignored her for a while, but eventually she got on his nerves. " `I fear neither God nor man,' he said to himself, `but this woman bothers me. I'm going to see that she gets justice, for she is wearing me out with her constant coming!' " Then the Lord said, "If even an evil judge can be worn down like that, don't you think that God will surely give justice to his people who plead with him day and night? (TLB)
If these parables are not enough, try these verses.
- 1 Chronicles 16:11 - Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! (ESV) J. Vernon McGee's in his Thru The Bible commentary asks some questions in regards to this verse. He asks; Do you seek His face continually? What is the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning? When you go to bed at night, what is the last thing you think about? Do you think about God all during the day? Or do you just leave God behind when you go to work or go to school or go to a social gathering?
- Ephesians 6:18 - Pray in the Spirit at all times with all kinds of prayers, asking for everything you need. To do this you must always be ready and never give up. Always pray for all God’s people. (NCV)
- Colossians 4:2 - Be persistent in prayer, and keep alert as you pray, giving thanks to God. (TEV)
- 1 Thessalonians 5:17 pray all the time; (MSG)
Phillips Brooks said that prayer is not overcoming God's reluctance; it is laying hold of His highest willingness. Persistence in prayer is not an attempt to change God's mind but to get ourselves to the place where He can trust us with the answer.
Here's Something To Ponder
- What are your needs, wants or desires?
- Are you consistently bringing them to God in prayer?