Does our persistence in prayer, our ongoing requests, bother God? I think not. Jesus tells us a parable in scripture (Luke 18:1-8) that actually speaks of just the opposite. The main point He wants to make in this story is stated clearly:
“…(we) ought to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1).
Jesus’ parable calls attention to the attitude of a widow who continuously asks for justice from a godless judge; and finally, because of her persistence, she receives it. She is one of those people who “knocks and keeps knocking.” The good news unfolds as the parable continues, and it ends with this truth: our prayers are met by a righteous God who is not bothered by us; on the contrary, He is pleased with our persistence and answers us with a willing heart.
Let’s continue to pray. God promises to answer us! He hears our cries. He sees our hearts. He knows our needs. He wants us to talk to Him! In the holy conversations with our Savior, we grow in both our intimacy with Him and dependency on Him, which are two reasons that Jesus WANTS us to pray! As we give Him our requests, we must trust that every answer we receive is wrapped in the confines of His steadfast love and faithfulness.
This past week, I have been in a place of fervent prayer much like the persistent widow in the parable. I have begged and cried and bowed and laid prostrate and claimed God’s living word on behalf of my long-time-soul-to-soul friend Sharon Suiter Reyes and her husband Fred who is in the hospital on a ventilator due to the coronavirus. Their family invades my thoughts and takes over my emotions, but I must not stop there. I must run to the God of Mercy, and I must persistently plead. All my worrying and all my weeping must be turned into fervent prayer on their behalf. My tearful eyes of faith are focused on the mighty God who heals. I must believe that my persistence pleases the Lord, and that my faith “fuels” His power. Why else would He call us to pray?
God will be faithful to do His part in providing His best answer for your prayers, and for mine. What He wants us to do is to be faithful in our part, which is to “pray and not lose heart.”
Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it—the Lord is his name, “Call to me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things which you do not know…Jeremiah 33:2-3