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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Why Pray?


 “I don’t get it. Why do we have to persevere in prayer to get God to save someone? Do our prayers have a time limit? Do they run out? Do we have to bother God 24/7 to get Him to save? Must we persist to keep our faith alive for that salvation?” This man was responding to an article about persistent prayer.  His defeatist attitude troubled me.
Why believe? Why keep praying for a circumstance that doesn’t change, and likely won’t change tomorrow or even months from now? Why keep praying for a lost loved one who defiantly rebels against God? And what good did it do when God seemingly says no? 
When do we give up praying? When do we lower our shield of faith and concede the battle? 
Why believe? Why even bother praying, if it is a bother to my Heavenly Father? Isn’t that the point here? We aren’t a bother; it isn’t a waste of time and effort.  1 John 5:14-15 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of Him.”  
In Luke 18, Jesus told the parable of the persistent widow, “to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” She kept bothering this unjust judge who cared nothing about her situation. She eventually wore down this judge who finally gave her justice. Jesus then concludes with this powerful question: “And will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones who cry out to Him day and night? Will He keep putting them off?”
Do you feel that God doesn’t care or see? Does it feel like a waste of time to continue in faith? Let me assure you that He does see and care. He is nothing like the unjust judge. It isn’t a waste to persist in prayer. If you had no faith, would you truly be better off?  You can’t live without faith. You have to continue to believe for the answer. 
What other choice do you have? “Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:25-26 
 Who else do you have? Where exactly can you go for strength and grace? Who will help in your time of need? I don’t know about you, but I have no choice but to persist in prayer. I have to trust my Heavenly Father. He has always proved true, even when my circumstances didn’t change, the healing didn’t appear, and the loved one remained unsaved. 
I can testify to persistent prayer. I prayed for eleven years for my husband to come back to Jesus. I wasn’t always faith-filled. Sometimes I listened too much to the lies of the enemy. “Why pray? He will never change. This is too impossible.” Then the fears would overwhelm, “It will always be like this. How will your son grow up in such an atmosphere? Your life is essentially over.” 
Yet through the roughest storms, I persevered in prayer; even though the pain was raw and sharp. Perhaps this may sound dramatic, but I’m sure some of you may know exactly where I’m coming from. 
It was this tenacity to believe, to cling to my Jesus that brought me through stronger. I allowed it to change me first. I had to lay my husband in God’s hands and leave Him there. I had to trust and not take over. This is not easy to do. Yet it was essential to my prayer being answered. 
My persistent prayer was answered. And I believe yours will too. In the meantime, I implore you not to give up. You desperately need His grace, His strength to go through this. Yes… through is the key word here. You will come through a mighty woman of faith. You will testify to His goodness. 
There have been other seasons in my life that I had to persevere in prayer. More recent my job situation. My God has proved true. Whether the answer comes or not, He is sufficient. 
I am amazed at how He changes my heart in this process of prayer. I am tenderized from my hardness. 
Prayer is not a waste of time. You need to seek His face like you need air to breathe. Go after Him with all your heart.