Praying Persistently

This week I was replacing an old drinking fountain outside my office that had probably been installed in the 50’s or 60’s. I found a new one online and it seemed like an easy enough job, so I decided to take it on myself.

A job that I thought would take half an hour or so ended up consuming a good portion of my time this week. I took numerous trips to the local hardware store trying to find the right parts. I even drove into Salem (15 miles east of us) to go to an actual plumbing store.

After all my hard work and trips for parts, I thought I was done, only to find out that I needed one more part. Everything in me wanted to just say forget it and put it off until next week, but there was something in me that couldn’t. I needed to keep going and see this little project accomplished.

As I tightened up the last fitting and saw the water begin to flow from the fountain, I reflected a little on how my persistence paid off. As that word persistence popped into my head, I couldn’t help but think about the parable of the persistent widow found in Luke 18.

If you aren’t familiar with the story, this widow continued to come before a judge that really didn’t care about her problems. But she continued to go before the judge pleading for justice. Her persistence caused the judge to finally give in and grant her justice.

Jesus used this parable to encourage His disciples to continue to bring their prayers to God, who does care about their problems. Often times we pray once and hope God answers our prayer. But Jesus encourages us to be persistent in our prayer. Just because God didn’t answer your prayer today, doesn’t mean He isn’t going to answer it tomorrow. We must continue to pray.

I’ve heard numerous stories as a pastor from people who have prayed for loved ones for years and years and then, suddenly, one day their prayer is answered. We must be persistent in our prayers. And when we pray we need to say, Lord I don’t know how and I don’t know when, but I know that your will will be accomplished. And I will continue to faithfully and persistently pray with expectation as I wait for that day to come.

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