Posted by: mikenicholsblog | July 7, 2013

never. never, never, never, ever stop

Do you ever get weary with praying? You have prayed, cared and sought the best for someone and things just haven’t worked out. Your original energy is waning and though you still care just as much, praying has become more of a ritual than fervent intercession. One area that I believe we all feel a deep sense of responsibility is in praying for our children (or family). They have needs and we care … but are we praying fervently and specifically?

This week, my wife and I spent a lot of time with our daughter who lives in Los Angeles.  Although we have never stopped praying for her, we both were re-energized to intercede more fervently for her … and never stop. We feel that we are called to be persistent in praying for her. So as you read this article, think about your children or a family member(s) who need your intercession.

If you have attended church for very long, you may have heard the parable of the persistent widow in Luke chapter eighteen. Christ in His wisdom used this parable to show the disciples the need to pray, and not give up. The disciples needed to hear good counsel — keep praying and don’t give up. In our heart of hearts, we all know if we have slowed down or even stopped praying. Sure there may be times of mouthing words, but I am talking about really seeking after God’s design on issues of concern to us. Looking back at my prayer journals would probably show some issues that were once important, that I regretfully gave up on. You may have become discouraged with His “delays”, angry over the outcome of your pleadings, and disillusioned that you prayed so hard and nothing seemed to happen. He understands our struggle, but gives us great counsel — keep praying and don’t give up.

Christ’s parable about the persistent widow gives us incredible insight about never, ever giving up. The unjust judge that she confronted was finally bothered to the point of giving in to her. We need to be careful with comparing the judge to our Lord because the context gives us a completely different picture, but the parable teaches us that being persistent in prayer is vital. Too often Christians become easily dismayed and don’t follow the Master’s counsel.

In studying the first two verses that follow this parable, I was challenged and convicted.

Luke 18:6-7
And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?

Intellectually, there is no doubt in my mind that you believe God honors persistent praying. We all struggle, however, with the discipline to keep going.  Keep going when He seems to put our requests in delay mode, or our loved one is not healed.  Keep going when our finances don’t quickly turn around.  Keep going when our child continues to reject Christ no matter how long we’ve prayed. We all have reasons not to pray, but His counsel remains — keep praying and never give up.

I can’t tell you why God delays, but I can tell you that He loves you, He does heal, and He will honor those who cry out to Him day and night. Is there anything that you need to cry out to the Father about? Do it, and don’t give up.

Sir Winston Churchill in 1941 used the following words: “Never give in – never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty. . .” You and I can take his words to a new level: never, never, never, never ever stop praying (especially for your children). Great counsel indeed!


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