Do you remember going shopping with your parents as a child? Remember going to a toy store to pick up a birthday present for a friend? Do you remember what would happen when you’d see something you really wanted?
If you were like me, you’d keep asking your parents for the thing you wanted until they either bought it for you or yelled at you for continuing to ask. If you managed to ask just enough times without throwing a fit, sometimes you’d win and end up with a new toy to take home.
There’s a principle here that we as Christians can apply to our prayer life: persistence.
Luke 18:1-7 tells the story of the persistent widow:
Now He [Jesus] was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ For a while he was unwilling, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God or respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them?”
The main point in this parable is comparing the widow’s persistence with our persistence in prayer. This widow wanted the corrupt and uncaring judge to grant her protection from an opponent. The judge eventually gave the widow what she wanted because of her persistence—in order to make her go away.
We need to be just as persistent in our prayer life as the widow was in her desire for protection. The difference between us and the widow is that our God is not corrupt and uncaring. Our God loves us more deeply than we can understand. He wants to give good gifts to His children, but just like with children, God can measure the truth of our desires by how long and how often we’re willing to pray about them.
So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. (Luke 11:9-10)
Girls, how persistent are you in your prayers?
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