Luke 18:7 | Matthew 7:7 | Psalm 31:24
“Is it my turn yet? Is it my turn? How about now? Now? …What about now?”
Continuing to ask for something you want is a surefire way to annoy those you love. Or even those you don’t.
People typically do not respond well to being hounded. Strangely though, God seems fine with it…
Jesus even tells his disciples a story about a widow who bugged a judge so much that he finally gave her the justice asked for–not because it was the right thing to do, but to get her to leave him alone!
Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?(Luke 8:6-7 NLT)
This story is often referred to as “The Parable of the Persistent Widow.” And how nice it is to know that we can be persistent in our prayers to God!
Clearly, Jesus wants us to know that God does not answer our ‘cries for justice’ right away. But if we persist in asking God for what is right, he will not ‘put us off’ by waiting any longer than necessary to give it to us.
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”(Matthew 7:7 NLT)
Persistence in prayer is essential to your faith. But in a more general sense, persistence–continuing steadfastly even when facing difficulty–is the product of your faith.
So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the Lord!(Psalm 31:24)
Questions for Group Discussion
- How do your parents respond when you persist in asking for what you want? What about your brothers/sisters… how do they respond?
- Have you ever prayed for something, not gotten any kind of answer, and then stopped praying for it? If so, why?
- Which takes more faith: to say, “God heard my prayer. He’ll move when he’s ready,” or to continue praying for what you need?
- Why do you think God is okay with being ‘hounded’ by his followers? Why doesn’t he get tired of it, like our parents do?
- Why does it take faith to be persistent?
- Besides prayer, what are other areas of your life in which you need to be persistent?
Keep Keepin’ On: Challenge
This is an old challenge: take a cold bath each morning.
Do it for a week–two if you’re adventurous or super-enthusiastic. Don’t make the water freezing cold; no ice should be used. Just get it as cold as your faucet allows.
What does this have to do with persistence? Ask us again on the second morning.
Also, we would be interested to know how this challenge affected you and your ability to faithfully face difficulties. So if it did, write a few words to us and let us know.