A look at the power of persistent prayers and and examples we see in the Bible on how being persistent in pray brings breakthrough and change.
As Christians we all know that prayer is vital. But did you know their are different kinds of prayer and different ways we can pray? Today we are going to look at being persistent in prayer.
If there is a quality we need to develop as Christians, it is persistence in prayer. We tend to give up on praying about something when we don’t see an answer to our prayer.
Yet there are many reasons why you don’t see your prayers answered immediately. You may not see what God is doing behind the scenes, but He is definitely at work on your behalf. And sometimes He will answers our prayers in a way we didn’t think of.
But the power of persistent prayer is seen when we continue to pray without ceasing until we see that which we have been praying for coming to pass.
The Power of Persistent Prayer
Jesus knew the importance of persisting in prayer and gave us a parable to teach us. It is about a widow who went to a particular judge repeatedly until he gave her justice for her predicament. She had a dispute with an enemy and needed the judge to make a ruling. Finally, the judge ruled in her favor, and the woman was happy.
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”
6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 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? 8 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 NIV
When you persist in prayer, you overcome the spiritual obstacles that stand in your way. They are unseen, but you can deal with them through prayer.
Once you have a breakthrough in the spirit realm, you will see your answer manifest in the natural realm. Persistent prayer shows that you are committed to the thing you are praying for, and you trust and faith that God will answer your prayer.
Your persistence is a true sign you believe God can is able to do a work in your life.
Now let’s look at some powerful examples of persistence in prayer:
Examples of Persistent Prayer in the Bible
We are going to explore 4 examples in the Bible of persistent prayer. There are many more than these in scripture but I feel like these 4 individuals provide a great understanding on this specific topic on prayer.
Jesus was persistent in His prayer life, and that is why He taught His disciples that they should always pray without giving up.
From Him, we learn that we should be praying all the time and not when we are in trouble. Many times, in the Gospels, we are told that Jesus went up to the mountain to pray.
Jesus succeeded in His ministry because of the time He spent in prayer each day. Although He is God, while on earth, He operated as a man and did the things that men do, apart from sin.
He showed us how we can be successful in our Christian lives and the work He has given us to do.
Although He wants us to persist in prayer, He does caution us against repetitive prayer, thinking that God will hear us more.
Repetitious Prayer Vs Persistent Prayer
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. – Matthew 6:7
Repetitive prayer is very different than persistent prayer. In this verse Jesus is talking about stammering or speaking repetitive words. These types of prayer are called a mantra. And is not how Christians should pray. (source)
Persistent prayer is not a vain repetition of our prayer requests but a commitment to hold on till we see our prayers answered. We are going before the Lord requesting He touches this area of our life or situation.
The scripture that Jesus gave us and which captures the power of persistent prayer is Matthew 7:7-8.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. – Matthew 7:7-8 NIV
Jesus was showing us that when we persist in our prayers, we will receive the answers. This Bible verse should encourage us whenever we feel like giving up on our prayers. God is faithful to see us through…keep knocking!
The Prophet Daniel
Daniel was a prayerful man, and every day he prayed to God though he lived in a Babylon and was a servant to the king.
One time, he prayed for three weeks without seeing an answer to his prayer. Then one day, an angel came to him with the answer to his prayer.
The angel said that God answered Daniel’s prayer the moment he prayed but the angel, who was to bring the answer, was stopped by the prince of the kingdom of Persia, a demonic stronghold. (Daniel 10:12-14).
Daniel did not know the kind of spiritual warfare going on behind the scenes until the angel told him.
He was able to receive an answer to his prayer because he did not give up. Imagine if Daniel has given up and stopped praying after a couple of days?
If he did he may never have received what would happen in the future and we would never be able to read it.
We want to be like Daniel, if we remain in the place of prayer without giving up, we will receive the breakthrough we want.
Hannah was a miserable woman until when she gave birth to her son, the prophet Samuel. She was unable to have children, and Peninnah (Her husbands second wife), would provoke her every day, making fun of her childlessness.
When Hannah would go to the temple at Shiloh to sacrifice to the Lord every year, she prayed for a child. I’m sure she hoped that the next year would be the year that God answers her prayer. Unfortunately, it was not so.
One particular year, she had had it with Peninnah’s insults, and made a vow to God. She told Him that if He gave her a child, she would give him back to Him for life (1 Samuel 1:11).
Over time, she conceived and gave birth to a son, Samuel. Finally, she saw the answer to her prayer. She called him Samuel and said, “Because I have asked for him from the Lord” (1 Samuel 1:20).
By the time God answered Hannah’s prayer, it was because her desire for a child had met His desire for a prophet. When we finally align our will with God’s will, we will see the answers to our prayers.
Sometimes we must persist so that God can work in our hearts to help us see our prayers from His perspective. It was when Hannah made a vow to God that she received her answer. She had aligned with God’s will in her prayer request.
If you would like to learn more on Hannah…check out my post on The Prayer of Hannah.
The Apostle Paul
I want to end my examples with Paul. And the reason is not just because he was a man of prayer but that their was a specific situation that I feel we can really learn from. That is the story of when Paul prayed 3 times.
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I think this story of Paul’s persistent prayers teach us a couple things.
- It shows us that even the apostles and those who we view as close to the Lord also need to be persistent in prayer.
- God answered Paul. But not in the way he thought. The Lord didn’t remove the thorn in Paul’s side, but gave him a different answer. That God’s grace will be enough! Sometimes when we pray for something God will answer us but it’s not always in the way we think it should be. This can be hard depending what we are praying about. But we must be ok to receive an answer like Paul and know that His grace is sufficient for that situation.
- Paul didn’t let the answer to his prayer bring him down. He actually used it boast about the Lord’s strength in his weakness. That is not an easy thing to do. But there is a such a power in laying down my ideal answer and trusting God to take care of it all.
More on Prayer
If you loved learning about persistent prayer, then I encourage you to check out my other posts on the topic of prayer and intercession! You can find a few of them below.
From the above examples, we see the power of persistent prayer. It transforms us and gives God a chance to intervene in our lives and bring the needed change. By meditating on the teachings of Jesus on prayer, you will learn how to pray in a way that ensures you see your answers. God longs to answer our prayers but we must pray according to His will and wait for His timing. He knows how to prepare us to receive the answers that we seek from Him.
Don’t give up on your prayers because the going got tough. Keep pressing in and know that you will see the glorious manifestation of your prayer.
If you would like to leave me a comment. You can do so below. I would love to know what God is doing in your life.
Melissa is a passionate minister, speaker and an ongoing learner of the Bible. She has been involved in church and vocational ministry for over 18 years. And is the founder of Think About Such Things. She has the heart to equip the saints by helping them get into the Word of God and fall more in love with Jesus. She also enjoys family, cooking, and reading.
She has spoken in churches in California, Oregon, Texas, and Mexico and has been featured in Guidepost Magazine and All Recipes Magazine. Read More…