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Persistent Prayer

Persistent Prayer

Most Christians are quickly stirred to guilt whenever the topic of prayer is raised. We all know we need to pray more often. And so we should. But as we increase our time in prayer, let us also remember to apply the words of Christ when he told us that we “ought always to pray and not lose heart” (Lk.18:1). As Jesus goes on to explain in his parable of what I like to call, “the tenacious widow,” this is not an exhortation to simply log more hours in prayer per week. This is a command from Christ to persist in praying for the specific request we know is good and right. 
 
It is unfortunate how quickly we abandon a particular prayer concern because God does not immediately respond. This parable certainly grants us permission to pray so tenaciously and persistently, that if we were on the receiving end of the petition, we’d feel like we were being pestered, bothered, or in Christ’s words, “beaten down by the continual” request (v.5). In this regard, our everyday polite manners don’t serve as a reliable guide for our praying. 
 
Usually it takes only a few “asks” for a particular thing, for us to back down and settle for a “no.” But that should not be the case in our prayer life. God tells us to ask and keep asking. He calls us to knock and keep knocking. As long as we know our request is right and good, he orders us to “always pray and not lose heart.”

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