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Friday, October 31, 2014
Notes on Praying Persistently
These are my notes from an independent Bible study I did to get encouragement to keep praying. I apologize in advance for any errors in grammar or spelling. Life is very full at the moment. I'd rather everything was just right before sharing, but then with my limited time and very flawed self I'd never get to share! Persistence: firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition
Persistent prayer: continual petitioning the Most High to interceded in a situation
Luke 11:5-8 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose one of you went to your friend’s house very late at night and said to him, ‘A friend of mine has come into town to visit me. But I have nothing for him to eat. Please give me three loaves of bread.’Your friend inside the house answers, ‘Go away! Don’t bother me! The door is already locked. My children and I are in bed. I cannot get up and give you the bread now.’I tell you, maybe friendship is not enough to make him get up to give you the bread. But he will surely get up to give you what you need if you continue to ask.
Luke 11:9-10 So I tell you, continue to ask, and God will give to you. Continue to search, and you will find. Continue to knock, and the door will open for you.Yes, whoever continues to ask will receive. Whoever continues to look will find. And whoever continues to knock will have the door opened for them.
Luke 18:1-8 Then Jesus taught the followers that they should always pray and never lose hope. He used this story to teach them:“Once there was a judge in a town. He did not care about God. He also did not care what people thought about him.In that same town there was a woman whose husband had died. She came many times to this judge and said, ‘There is a man who is doing bad things to me. Give me my rights!’But the judge did not want to help the woman. After a long time, the judge thought to himself, ‘I don’t care about God. And I don’t care about what people think.But this woman is bothering me. If I give her what she wants, then she will leave me alone. But if I don’t give her what she wants, she will bother me until I am sick.’” The Lord said, “Listen, there is meaning in what the bad judge said. God’s people shout to him night and day, and he will always give them what is right. He will not be slow to answer them.I tell you, God will help his people quickly. But when the Son of Man comes again, will he find people on earth who believe in him?
John Wesley, the great Methodist preacher, encountered many time of refusal, and denial, during his early years in the ministry. He logged a few of these instances in his diary:
Sunday A.M., May 5:Preached in St. Anne’s. Asked not to come back.
Sunday P.M., May 5:Preached in St. John’s. Deacons said, "Get out, and stay out!"
Sunday A.M., May 12:Preached in St. Jude’s. Can’t go back there either.
Sunday P.M., May 19:Preached in St. Somebody Else’s. Deacons called special meeting, and said I couldn’t return.
Sunday A.M., May 26:Preached on street. Kicked off street.
Sunday A.M., June 2:Preached at the edge of town. Kicked off highway.
Sunday P.M., June 2:Preached in a pasture. Ten thousand came.
If you and I are to get an answer, it may take some action. Consistent, and persistent action! I believe that George Mueller, the great prayer warrior said it well, when he said, "The great fault of the children of God is, they do not continue in prayer; they do not go on praying; they do not persevere!" read more here
Being persistent in prayer has taught me:
The word widow conveys to the reader that she was poor, helpless, without power or influence, and had a burden of need. We are the widow.
God is the One with power but is so much better and kinder than the king in the parable. Our petitions will not be ignored.
When we have done all we can do and made many efforts on our own, we have to leave it in God's Hands. This teaches us about our weakness and complete dependence upon Him. We have to surrender our will to God's will and timing.
Persistence in prayer teaches us the situation isn't about us. God has authority over the situation and will be the one who gets the victory.
Real, earnest prayer is hard work. It will take effort and leave you tired. Luke 22:44
Ephesians 6:18 Pray in the Spirit at all times. Pray with all kinds of prayers, and ask for everything you need. To do this you must always be ready. Never give up. Always pray for all of God’s people.
When to quit praying:
If there is an answer that changes the situation whether it is the one you wanted or not. (Person is clearly not going to be healed. The man you desired for a husband marries another woman. Item is sold before your money is saved. The job is offered to another person.)
Change of heart. God lifts the burden. You have peace and will stop thinking so much about the situation. There is a difference between a burden from the Lord and anxiety. A burden will be relieved for a while during and after prayer.
You realize you are not praying for God's will but your own selfish desires. Change how you are praying about the situation.
God has answered you by leading you to take action. Then start praying for courage to follow through and head immediately in the direction He sends you. Obedience to Him (or lack thereof) demonstrates our level of faith (I John 2:3-6). Obedience brings reward (James 1:22–25). If growing faith doesn't get you motivated to follow through, then God's blessings and favor certainly should.