Have you ever told someone that you would pray for them? Then, when you do, the thought goes through your mind, “Is once enough? Do I pray about his or her need forever? What have I committed to?” Maybe it’s just me. I tend to overthink things.
So you’ve promised someone that you will pray for some need this person has. Then, later, you wonder, how much prayer is enough? Well, before I comment, let’s consider Isaiah 62:6–7 NLT, which says, “Take no rest, all you who pray to the Lord. Give the Lord no rest until he completes his work.”
This passage of Scripture is part of a prophecy specifically about the return of the Jews from their exile in Babylon and the rebuilding of the temp1. But, as God so often does, He tucked a truth in there that applies to all of us. He tells us, “Take no rest.” and “ Give the Lord no rest. This begs the question: How long do we pray? Do we pray until we see God’s completed His work?”
This Scripture in Isaiah has the same meaning as Jesus’ parable about the widow seeking justice. Jesus frames the parable this way: “Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up2.”
But How Much is Enough?
There is an old-time Pentecostal idea called “Praying Through.” Don’t let the word “Pentecostal” scare you. I have often experienced this truth. Praying through is available to every believer. Why? Because every believer has the Holy Spirit alive within them3!
Praying through is simply praying continually about a need until the Holy Spirit impresses on us that the Father has heard our prayers and has settled the matter. Just as we know we are saved, not because somebody told us we were, but because the Holy Spirit impressed on us the truth of our salvation, so we can know when enough is actually enough.
Christians do not live by feelings or five senses (see, hear, touch, smell, taste). Instead, “we walk by faith, not by sight4.” It is by our faith that we pray. Otherwise, our thoughts and words are just foolishness. Likewise, as if blind, we walk unaffected by what we perceive around us. Instead, we are led by the Holy Spirit. God has even stated that “without faith, it is impossible to please Him5.”
So, now we know the answer to our question, “How much is enough?” The answer is “enough.” God’s response may not be immediate, and it may not be what we expected. But, if the Holy Spirit has impressed on us that He has heard and answered our prayer, we need to change from praying to praising God for His answer!
God answers prayer. He still heals, mends, renews, reconciles, delivers, defends, guards, and so much more. Pray, for there is no greater gift He has given to the redeemed.