The Power of Persistent Prayer
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Listen to the Podcast HERE
Today, we will continue our conversation on how to strive for Victory in our spiritual life through prayer.
There is great power when we pray "always", when we are constantly going before God and being persistent in it. I'm not talking about just random prayers or one-off prayers, or prayers for our dinner or prayer when we need something and when something bad happens, which is all fine and good, but there's actually power in a persistent prayer life, not just a consistent prayer life, but a persistent one
And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.
2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man.
3 And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’
4 For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man,
5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’”
6 And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says.
7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them?
8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
NOTE: God is not the judge in this parable. The judge is an ungodly and unbelieving man. The point is that if an “unsaved” person will give justice then God would surely show justice and response to his people. It’s similar to the passage of “if we who are sinful know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more does God…”
1. Always Pray
Reminder that Prayer WORKS! ALWAYS!
Let’s go to Ephesians 6:18 where the writer associates prayer with the armor of God. Which is to be put on daily.
A. Praying at all times [prayer works at all times in all things]
B. in the Spirit, [the Spirit knows & prays through us & for us]
C. with all prayer and supplication. [pray for everything]
D. To that end, keep alert [speaking of the schemes of the devil]
E. with all perseverance, [be persistent]
F. making supplication for all the saints [pray for all believers]
2. Don’t Lose Heart
I am glad Jesus even mentions to not lose heart. Because I know how often I may lose heart by assumably unanswered prayers.
The enemy would love for us to lose heart and give up. Not just on others, but on God, ourselves, our ministry, etc…
There is too much at stake to give up. Souls & Eternity!
2 Thessalonians 3:13
13 As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,
18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
3. God Hears Us and Answers
1 John 5:14-15
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.
15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.
13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
Again, we cannot allow the enemy to cause us to doubt that God is listening.
God’s answer may not be what we want…but it is always just and right.
How does God answer us?
A. Through His Word (Scripture)
B. Through His Spirit
C. Through Miracles, Signs & Wonders
D. Through Other People
How do you know God speaks to you?
4. God’s Timing
God is never LATE – But always ON TIME – ON HIS TIME!
But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” 15 My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
2 Peter 3:8-9
But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
Praying through God’s timing will lead us to greater Faith if we do not lose heart and get frustrated.
5. Will Jesus Find Us Faithful?
Prayer is tied to faith. We are praying to a God we’ve never physically seen or probably never audibly heard.
Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
What is it right now in your life that you have been praying for? Maybe another way of saying it is, "What have you kind of given up on?" Are there things that you were praying persistently in for that you've just lost heart and you've just stopped praying? Maybe you have things right now that you are actively praying for and through.
Can I encourage you, don't give up.
God hears you. Your job is to pray, it's God's job to answer.
Those of you that have things in your life that you are persistently praying for, that there's things in your life that you are just putting before God. There's things in your life that you're just actively seeking God in, that there's areas of your life that you want to see victory, and I want to pray with you this morning as we begin to close, but before I do that, we're talking a lot today about prayer.
At the end of the day, the most effective prayer sometimes is just a cry from our heart and an acknowledgement that we need Him. See, one of the wonderful things in my life that I love about prayer is that it's a personal relational communication between me and my Savior, that at any moment, I can go to the God of the universe, I can go to the Jesus that loves me and saves me, and I can speak to Him as a friend, speaks with a friend, as the Bible says. I can just go to Him and talk to Him, and I can do that because there was the first prayer I prayed, maybe the most meaningful prayer, and that was a prayer of salvation.
My Prayer For You:
I pray for those that have given up, that are frustrated. Lord, I hope that today, that Your Spirit encourages them to continue in prayer, to get back into that prayer moment, and so Lord, right now, I pray for everybody listening, I pray that You would bless them with victory in their life in all the areas that we are praying in Your will. In Jesus' name. Everybody say, amen.
SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS:
1. What typically gets in your way of a consistent prayer life?
2. Is there something you have been praying about and have either already lost heart or are about to?
3. How do you know when God speaks to you?
4. Is there a time you can share when you were persistent and saw God answer? How did that impact your faith?