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“Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness.”

Martin Luther

One of my favorite passages is Luke 18:1-8, the parable of the persistent widow. In the first verse, Jesus sums up the two lessons He wants us to take away from this story. “Then Jesus told His disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.”

Jesus wants us to keep praying and to continually ask Him to meet our needs, as well as to intercede on behalf of others. He loves it when we talk to Him 24-7; both day and night prayers please Him. What matters is that we’re communicating with Him, which deepens our relationship.

The second point He makes, is to never give up in bringing our requests to Him. God doesn’t want us to stop praying, nor to lose hope that He will answer our prayer. There’s no need to be ashamed of our continual intercession. God never tires of hearing our requests. It’s not like He thinks, Oh, no, she’s not asking for that again! He wants us to keep pleading and asking Him with faith, expecting Him to supply our need.

I began to pray for my Dad’s salvation, when I was fifteen and a new believer. Forty years later, when my eighty-year old Dad had dementia, God set the scene. Dad felt remorse over the regrets in his life and God gave him a three hour window of lucidity. Dad’s mind was clear. He was able to track with me and understood what I shared. As I read Dad Billy Graham’s, Steps to Peace with God, I realized I surrendered my life to Jesus, forty years earlier, on that same date. Dad followed in my steps and gave his life to Jesus. I can’t tell you how grateful I am that I persistently prayed for my Dad’s salvation!

I didn’t give up and nor should you. In what area of your life are you battling? Does it involve a wayward child, or a marriage that has slowly grown cold and distant? Is it a health crisis, or a career struggle? Whatever it is, remember what Jesus said to do in Luke 18:1: always pray and never give up. Then you’ll become like the persistent widow in the parable and receive what you’ve asked for.

“Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.”

Samuel Johnson

Relevant Reflection:

Spend time in persistent prayer for the area you’re most desperate for God to break through.

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