I have three children under the age of six. This means that every few seconds my kids are asking for something - help with this, more of that, to go there, etc. If, God forbid, I fail to hear them, answer them, or deliver what they demand, they will ask again…and again…and again…and again…until they wear me down to the point of wishing for the sweet relief of a coma rather than hearing them ask me one more time for the same thing.
As is always the case, God is a far better father than I am. God welcomes, wants, and even commands that we offer persistent prayers. In Luke 18:1-8 Jesus tells the story of a widow who is relentless in her pursuit of justice from an unjust judge. Though he blew her off at first, the finally broke saying, “because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.” This is no random story. Luke says Jesus told this parable “that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” God wants His kids to keep coming to Him in prayer.
Maybe there’s something you’ve asked God for, haven’t seen an answer to, and as a result you’re growing weary in the asking. Maybe it’s a sin you desire freedom from, a family member you want to come to faith, a provision you’re desperate for, an area of healing you haven’t seen. This parable is for you. Don’t stop praying in general and don’t stop praying about that issue in particular. God is teaching you something in the waiting, and cultivating something in you as you continually come to Him. Persistent prayer cultivates perseverance, trust, and faith.
It could be that God’s answer to your request is “No.” Maybe God’s saying, “Not now.” You have to know that God is more concerned with what He’s doing in you, than with what you want Him to do for you. So, maybe God’s just waiting for you to ask one more time.