As we look at the times Jesus teaches the disciples about prayer we see the model prayer as recorded in Matthew 6 and Luke 11. The passage found in Luke 11 is interesting to me because when the prayer ends Jesus shares a parable with those in attendance that has to do with persistent in one's prayer life. While we often tell people to pray about things and leave them at an altar there are some issues that Jesus recognizes we must be persistent about when we pray if we truly want to see change come. We read in Luke 11:5-8;
5 Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: "Suppose you went to a friend's house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, 6 'A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.'7 And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, 'Don't bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can't help you.'8 But I tell you thisthough he won't do it for friendship's sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.
Luke 11:5-8 (NLT)
You see here is the truth while some may believe that God's Will is unchanging we see throughout scripture that God will stay some forms of judgment against His people if it will bring Glory to His name. King Hezekiah prayed and the Lord gave him 15 more years of life (2 Kings 20) while King David prayed for his son only to have God hold to His word (2 Samuel 12) and the child died but in both situations God gets the glory. Today as you pray I want to tell you until you get a solid undeniable answer the continued prayer for something is not unacceptable and does not show a lack of faith. As Jesus said because of your shameless persistence, "he will get up and give you what you need." Please recognize the fact it does not say what you want. Two facts about answered prayer it will always bring glory to God and it will always be better than what you asked for in the beginning. Garth Brooks sings, "I thank God for unanswered prayers." Sometimes the best answer we can receive is a great big NO. If God had answered some of my prayers I most likely would be dead by now. I challenge you to be persistent in your prayers with the understanding that God's responses are Yes, No and not right now. I pray that as your prayer life grows that you will find hope and understanding as you walk in the light of God's Word.
Rev. Brian H. Mathis CSC
Ordained Minister Church of God, Cleveland TN
Currently serving as the Associate Pastor of Discipleship at Westminster Baptist Church
Graduate of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary MDiv in Chaplain Studies