“Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.” Romans 12:12
This exhortation calls us to be earnest and persevering in prayer. Where will we get the inner resources to rejoice in hope and be enduring in tribulation? From the God of our salvation! Therefore, we are obliged to present that need before Him in faithful prayer. Here are are some reasons and encouragements to persevere in prayer:
1. Prayer is part of focusing our eyes on God. When we genuinely pray, we are acknowledging that we are not all-sufficient, while at the same time recognizing that God is all-sufficient. Prayer is part of worship. When we thank God, confess sin and bring our requests, we are saying with our actions that there is a God in heaven who is wise, loving and able. It is so needful for us to throw our burdens upon Him and acknowledge His greatness. Prayer shows we are not looking to ourselves, our money, our government or whatever other potential idol. It says, “God in heaven, you are God alone. My trust is in you!”
2. Prayer is designed to be an exercise of perseverance. We can tend to give up in prayer. “What good will it do?” we might think. But, Jesus taught that we should pray always “and not to faint” (Luke 18:1). So, don’t feel like you are the odd person for having seasons where you struggle in prayer or are tempted to become discouraged in it. Keep seeking God’s face. Ask Him to give you a heart and mind to pray. Ask Him to teach you to pray. And then, discipline yourself to pray.
3. Prayer is a way God has promised to work. “What can I do?” you might think hopelessly before a difficult situation. It is true that we sometimes can use prayer as an excuse for not doing something we know we ought to do. “I’ll just pray about it…” can be a way of sinful neglect. However, there are other times when we don’t know what to do, or we have already tried to do something with seemingly little success. Here is some encouragement: God has promised that one of the means He works through is the means of prayer (James 5:16). Read the story of the early church in the book of Acts. They believed a great source of power was in prayer to the true and living God in the name of Jesus Christ. Read the letters that Paul wrote and note how many people and churches he was regularly praying for. Whether or not you see the fruits you desire to see in prayer, know this: GOD HONORS TRUE, FAITHFUL PRAYER!