The idea of “being persistent” may cause you to recoil, invoking memories of times when somebody you knew chronically nagged you or provoked you for no reason. I’m reminded of an old cartoon where an elderly man was trying to get his mule to move. The mule refused, so he began beating the poor beast. Then, suddenly, the mule picks up a board (it’s a cartoon) and mercilessly beats the old man. This approach to being persistent is not God’s way. Here is an example of what the Holy Spirit revealed to the apostle Paul concerning persistence:
Many verses in the New Testament tell us to be persistent in prayer. On the surface, I find that odd. Once we’ve asked God shouldn’t that be enough? He knows everything, so He’s not going to forget our requests. Truth be told, God already knew what we would ask in our prayers. So why does He tell us to be persistent? I am reminded of that old joke about marriage.
Wife: “Why don’t you tell me you love me anymore?”
Husband: “I told you that when we got married. How many times do I have to repeat it?”
A part of being loving is consistently telling that person you love them. If no action follows those declarations of love, then they are just lying. Being persistent in our prayer life is vital; one aspect of this is our prayers for the body of believers. The mortar used for building Jesus’ Church is made with the blood of Her martyrs.
To pray effectively for our fellow believers, we must stay alert. We need to know the specifics. For example, right now, there is widespread physical persecution of Christians in India. Local church buildings are being destroyed, and the members are beaten with boards and refused help. We need to be praying, in the Spirit, persistently for these believers. Likewise, the earthquake in Turkey and northern Syria has caused great pain and suffering for millions of people, including Christians. We need to pray for them and ask God to send Christian workers to offer physical help and spiritual life.
There are local needs, national needs, and global needs that require our prayers, especially prayers for God’s children. These prayer needs are just part of being a Christian. Let’s please Jesus and pray for the needs of His Bride.
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