There are things on my prayer list that have been there for a very long time-years even decades. It becomes easy to think that God isn’t listening, or that God doesn’t care. Being persistent in prayer becomes exhausting, and I start to think it’s not worth the effort. It is easy to give up. It easy to get lost in my own worry and stop looking for God in the midst of my prayers and daily life.
I know the things I worry about are telling me what is important to me, and I know that worry doesn’t change anything. Persistent prayer does create change. These scriptures remind me of the promise of prayer.
Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him. (Psalm 37:5-7a, NIV).
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. (Ephesians 6:18 NIV).
So, how do I know that persistent prayer works? I start by looking at all the ways, little ways, God has provided my desires, unexpected financial resources, kind words on a tough day, recognition for a job well done are a few. I, also, notice the ways He is shaping me for the future He has planned for me. He equips me with skills, opportunities for growth, and cultivates my heart more and more like His. Actually, most of the work has been on cultivating my heart. Lastly, I take notice of all of the gifts He has given me that I never asked for and didn’t know I needed. My heart shifts from worry and frustration to peace and joy.
My deepest desires may not have come to full fruition, however they are closer than a decade ago. Persistent prayer works when I look for God in the details of my life not just the obvious answered prayer. Seeing all of the ways He is working for His good purpose through me, reminds me that He is in control and cares deeply for all of His children.
How has persistent prayer worked for you? How do you persevere in tough times? Share your story here and breathe life and bring hope to others.