Friday, February 20, 2009

Persistence. Perseverance. Prayer.

So for those two lonely souls :-) who have been waiting on the edge to read the second half to Do Not Lose Heart, here it is. I hope it's not a disappointment (if you anticipated something grander). This is what I found in my notebook as I referenced in my previous post.

Jesus loved teaching in parables. One of those was to teach us we should never give up in prayer. Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: 'In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, 'Grant me justice against my adversary.' 'For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, 'Even though I don't fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!' And the Lord said, 'Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?' Luke 18:1-8

Jesus proposed to the listener the question of how many people with such persistent faith He'd find upon His return. That, to me, is very convicting. Discouragement does come easy when we don't see results to our prayers but Jesus challenges us to not give up. Pray continually. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Devote yourselves to prayer. Colossians 4:2

I believe that God views differently our faithful dedication to prayer in the most difficult of circumstances. Faith is easy when we see answers to prayers and blessings showered on us. God knows the endurance and strength required to be persistent and dedicated to not lose hope when we see nothing happening.


~~How would you rate your faith in believing for your most urgent prayer request?
~~Are you being persistent and faithful in prayer for this thing the Lord has not yet answered?
~~Do you often forget to pray for that particular need as you feel like it may never happen?
~~What has caused you to lighten up on this heaviest prayer request of yours?

"Will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly." Luke 18:7-8

Let's quickly look at two other examples of women persisted in faith and prayer. Shunammite and Hannah.

The Shunammite woman (2 Kings 4:8-37) often opened her home to Elisha. She provided him his own space and Elisha returned the favor by putting a favorable word in the king's ear about her desire for a child. When her son became ill and died, Elisha cried out to God asking for life to be restored to this dead boy. God heard. God listened. God answered. God returned life.

She came in, fell at his feet and bowed to the ground. Then she took her son and went out. 2 Kings 4:37

Obedience. Commitment. Persistence. Perseverance.

The story of Hannah has become one of my favorites. There's so much to her life, actions, and character. However, her persistence is resounding. She never relented. She continually went before the Throne asking for a child. She never stopped asking. She never stopped seeking. She never stopped listening. Even in her weakest moments--moments of doubt, moments of questions--she shared her heart, grief, and desires with God. I can so relate to her not necessarily in regards to her desires for a child. Doubts yet persistence. Questions yet persistence. Weariness yet persistence. Grief yet persistence. Longing yet persistence.

Then Hannah prayed and said:"My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance. "There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. "The LORD brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up. The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. He will guard the feet of his saints, but the wicked will be silenced in darkness. "It is not by strength that one prevails." 1 Samuel 2:1-2, 6-7, 9

Another consideration is that the enemy wants us to give up, stop praying, stop believing, stop persisting. If we give in, lose heart, and stop believing, he has won. He wants us to stop communicating with the Father. He wants us to stop believing in God to act. He wants us to be filled with doubt. God is not the father of doubt and confusion. Satan fathers those. And do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:27

Instead, let us follow Jesus' example and His instructions.
"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. Mark 14:38-39

You may have been praying for a very long time, but possibly you have stopped praying regularly. May I challenge you to never give up on praying for that prayer not yet answered.

Your persistence, perseverance, and faith will be rewarded in God's perfect timing!

Persisting, Persevering, Praying, Believing,
© Copyright 2008

19 comments:

Paula said...

Thank you...the wait for me has now been worth is, as the lessons I have learnt in the mean time have been backed up by your post - persistence, perseverance and prayer. I love these words you wrote -

"Another consideration is that the enemy wants us to give up, stop praying, stop believing, stop persisting. If we give in, lose heart, and stop believing, he has won. He wants us to stop communicating with the Father. He wants us to stop believing in God to act. He wants us to be filled with doubt. God is not the father of doubt and confusion. Satan fathers those. And do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:27"

I believe that he has been trying so very hard and forcefully this week to get a stronghold over me, but thankfully the Lord provided me with many coverings this week to overcome him. Devotionals, blogs, and loving but firm words from my sweetie.

Thank you again Paula. I am going to meditate over the scripture from your post and get my prayer life back ont track.

Love ya much! Paula

Laura said...

Preach it, sister! Persistence in prayer paid off for me regarding my husband's salvation (prayed for 13 years!). But I must admit, I have not always believed Him for the answering. Something I need to work on.

Thanks for your sweet comments over at the wellblog, sweet friend. I have been a little down, I guess--not posting. Struggling with everyday life.

But God is good, and I am trying to get out of this funk!

Persistence, right?

Love to you, Paula

Sheryl said...

I have realized that I need to stop praying for answers. Or how should I say that...it's not really that God wants to be praying about specific things and waiting for those answers. Instead I have tried to focus on being satsified in God alone (hard to do) but I do know that many of prayers will be answered in the negative. Therefore, I am asking that God builds my trust, heals my soul and gives me a heart to love HIM more. I hope that I can perservere in praying for those things.

Great post.

Stacy said...

Thank you so much for sharing such a timely message. Persistance in prayer is a struggle for me; probably comes from that deep inner battle to not 'burden anyone by being needy'.

I have allowed Satan a foothold but NO LONGER. Thank you for sharing Scripture that reminded me that God does not see persistance in prayer as pestering.

God bless!

Lilly Jones said...

Thank you for the ray of hope which I know shall serve as a light to some who feel hopeless. God is ever faithful and will send us encouragement through His word or through the words of others. Stay blessed.

Lilly

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. What a great word you had today.

With Love,
Teresa

Carol said...

Sweet Paula,

This was so wonderful. Persitence, Perseverance and Prayer. It pay off, and I know there were times when I wein on it. Seems like I better at praying for others than myself.

These post was definately worth the wait.

Love ya much,
Carol

Edge of Design said...

I understand the discouragement and sense of hopelessness that bombards our hearts and minds when prayers seem to fall by the wayside. As much as I understand, I know that God understands more. His grace is sufficient. We need to guard our hearts diligently just the same. :)

Sharon said...

I remember when I almost lost my faith, when my brother died. I felt like my heart was empty, and that he left me during this situation. It even worried my husband, but he showed me that the Lord was with me through it all. He explained that this is exactly what satan wanted. So I became persistence, and with prayer I feel as though I am stronger than ever. And I plan to persever!

I pray that I will always stay Persistant, that I will always persever, and will continue to always pray for myself with the authority of his word and for others.
Yepppppppp this is good... I was thinking about you it's sunday night, I try not to get on to much on the weekend, but I had to come visit. :)

Love ya my friend
God Blessssssss YOUUUUU

Ang baylis said...

Pray continually. That's what I need to remember! Thanks for this post!
Love to you, Paula!
Angie xoxo

HIS Daughter said...

I love your heart and you, Paula.

I just want to bless you with something! I'm praying about it!

Love in HIM and love as your sister,
Teri

andi said...

Happy BIRTHDAY sweet Friend!!!!! Girl, when are you writing a book?

Yolanda said...

I think too about being faithful in our prayers, to be continually praying because prayers change...are you ready for this...US.

As we are praying continually, I honestly believe our prayers will become more in line with His Will and His way. ;-)

Love,
Yolanda

Liz said...

Hi Paula,
I love this post...timely. Never give up praying!
Yes, Matt Chandler is my pastor. I am so blessed to have him as my "spiritual leader", totally a God thing as I came into his flock as a wounded church attender. (Matt calls it "recovering skeptic")
I have a friend who remarried her same man after a several year divorce, and praying for another right now...looks like it might happen! Don't give up! Still praying.....
Love you.

Edge of Design said...

NEVER give up on God! He is always faithful, always true and He will NEVER give up on you!!! (((hugs))) to you today my friend.

Angie said...

It looks like more than "two lone souls" were waiting :)

YOu always touch my life---in the very point I am currently living--YOU must be getting the mail outta my mailbox before me :)

"God knows the endurance and strength required to be persistent and dedicated to not lose hope when we see nothing happening."...there it is. My life point. Again.

Love you girl! So much! God is WORKING in your life and mine. WE CLAIM HIS WORD and STAND on the PROMISES found therein!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your blog on persitence and perseverance in prayer... Yes, there is no doubt God will grant us our prayer in his perfect time.

Joy
Glendale, CA

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