I am convinced that without prayer my son would have never been delivered from drug addiction and may have even died. The answered prayer did not come because my friends and I had great faith, but simply because we didn’t give up! We all have parts of our lives that don’t quite look like heaven yet because we often settle for too little. We have not because we ask not (see James 4:2) or because we quit too soon!
Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. (Matt. 7:7 amp)
Because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, those who believe are sons and daughters of the Father and coheirs with Christ. Through Him by prayer, we have access to the throne room of heaven. To put it simply, when we pray, God listens! Not because He must but because He promised. So we have the capacity to touch the heart of God and call forth His kingdom on the earth. Just as Queen Esther had access to the throne room and moved the heart of the king, perhaps we have been brought to royal position for such a time as this (see Esther 4:14)! Can you imagine what would happen if we all prayed for God’s kingdom to come in our own little spheres of influence? The course of history would be changed through our prayers!
Jesus not only encouraged His disciples to pray with persistence but also with boldness. In Luke 11:5–8, He said, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need” (NIV).
It doesn’t offend God when we continually ask for something in prayer. In fact, I’m sure we frustrate Him when we don’t ask, for this shows our unbelief. Jesus commended the shameless audacity of the friend in the parable, and He is looking for those with this same boldness to keep praying until His love is fully revealed on the earth! Our prayers truly can move the heart of God.
In another account, Jesus was so touched by a woman’s request that He changed His mind! A Canaanite woman came and begged Jesus to deliver her daughter from demons. Knowing He was not yet called to preach the kingdom of God to the Gentiles, “He answered and said, ‘It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.’ And she said, ‘Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.’ Then Jesus answered and said to her, ‘O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour” (Matt. 15:26–28). The Canaanite woman trusted Jesus’ heart so much that she asked Him to break the rules for her sake. Jesus was delighted by her faith and granted her request!
I wonder how much I have missed in the past because I was lazy, apathetic, or simply lacked the faith to pray and keep on praying. Remember that prayer is more about the process than the answer. The process of praying builds faith in the one who prays. It draws us closer to God and causes us to desire Him even more than we desire the answer to our request. We don’t always get what we ask for, but God always rewards the one who continually seeks Him.
In the book of Genesis, Jacob wrestled with God saying, “I will not let you go until you bless me” (32:26 NIV). Is there an area in your life where you are struggling? Are you wrestling with God for the answer? Don’t give up until you see His very best!
Father, forgive me for not always trusting Your love and believing for Your answers to my prayers. Forgive me for giving up too soon! Give me the courage to ask and ask and keep asking. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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