Prayer is astounding! It truly amazes me that the God of the Universe—the God who can do anything—has invited us to have a personal relationship with Him through our faith in Christ and in prayer.
Prayer is a privilege not an obligation, but many times it seems people feel prayer is a religious duty they need to fulfill. Prayer is communication with God, knowing that He personally hears us, and He wants to speak to our hearts.
Hebrews 4:16 (NIV) says we can "approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." And Ephesians 3:20 says God "is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine." The Amplified Bible translation says God is able to "do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams]."
God wants us to come to Him boldly because He's able to do greater things than we can even comprehend, and He wants us to be persistent in asking for His purpose, plan and promises to be fulfilled in our lives. This is so awesome because even though we don't deserve it, God does good things for us because He is good. God loves us, and He wants us to ask Him to do bigger things in us and through us.
The Parable of Persistent Prayer
In Luke 11:5-13, we read Jesus' parable of the man who goes to his friend's house at midnight asking for three loaves of bread because he needs food for a visitor who has come to stay with him. At first, the man refuses to get up because he and his family are in bed, but Jesus says that because of his persistence and boldness in asking for bread, the friend will eventually get up and give him what he needs.
Jesus then says, "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. For everyone who keeps on asking [persistently], receives; and he who keeps on seeking [persistently], finds; and to him who keeps on knocking [persistently], the door will be opened" (vv. 9-10, AMP).
In His Word, God promises to give us what we need, when we need it and the way we need it if we will persistently ask Him to help us and not give up until we get it. It's as if He's saying, "Come on, just see if you can bother Me."
The question is, have you given up on praying about something? Maybe you've prayed a year or more and nothing has happened, so you decide it's never going to change, and you move on to something else. I know what it's like to become weary of asking God to do something and be tempted to give up. I prayed for my father's salvation off and on for about 30 years before he received Christ and became a changed man. He was 83 years old when I had the privilege of baptizing him—the man who had abused me throughout my childhood—before he passed away three years later.
Passive or Persistent?
Are you the kind of person who gives up easily? It's important to know yourself and be painfully honest, if necessary, about this tendency. If God convicts you of being too passive or lethargic in your prayer life, understand that He's convicting you to help you. As you admit your weakness and take responsibility for it, the Holy Spirit will strengthen you to overcome it.
Or maybe you've given up because of some challenge or adversity that's facing you. Have you ever noticed that difficulties come up when you make a positive change? Maybe you've started going to church on a regular basis or having a prayer time every day or giving more of your time, talent or finances to help others. If you're battling resistance to be diligent in anything God is leading you to do, remember that the devil hates you, and he will do whatever he can to try and stop you from growing closer to God and walking in His plan for your life. We must be determined to outlast the enemy's attacks.
Romans 12:12 (NIV) encourages us to "be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." And James 1:12 assures us that "the one who perseveres under trial ... will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him." Refuse to give up, because God loves it when we are boldly persistent in praying for His plans and purposes to be fulfilled!
For more on this topic, order Joyce's five-teaching CD series The Parables of Jesus – Part 2. You can also contact us to receive our free magazine, Enjoying Everyday Life, by calling (800) 727-9673 or visiting joycemeyer.org.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times' bestselling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored more than 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Your Battles Belong to the Lord (FaithWords). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit joycemeyer.org.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Get Your Hopes Up! (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit www.joycemeyer.org.
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