Today’s post is by a wonderful friend of mine, Marie Michael. She writes on how we need to be prayer warriors even when times are tough and we want to give up. I hope it encourages you as much as it did me. Without further ado here it is!!
Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.
This is one of my favorite Bible verses because it describes how we as Christians are supposed to live everyday regardless of what the circumstances are. Constantly rejoicing because of the hope that we have in Christ, patient throughout the various trials of life and continuing in prayer. As I was reading this verse recently and I was thinking about the what the last part of it meant, the “continuing instant in prayer” part. “Isn’t this just normal prayer?” I asked myself. “Or is this prayer a different kind of prayer then what I am used to?” I decided to look up the word “instant” and I was surprised at what I found. The meaning of the word “instant” that is used here is much different than the modern-day definition. It does not refer to something that happens immediately or a moment of time. What the word actually means is unrelenting and steadfast even in the face of difficulties. This is the kind of prayer that is talked about in 2 Thessalonians 1:24, prayer that does not cease. Its is prayer that preserves no matter what the outward circumstances look like and does not faint. It is prayer that is persistent.
In Luke 18 we read a parable that Jesus tells his disciples to show them the importance of being persistent in their prayer and not giving up.
“And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;” (Luke 18:1)
In this parable a women goes to an unjust judge to plead her cause. Even though the unjust judge does not help her for a little while, because of her continual and unrelenting pleading he finally agrees to help her. If the women had just given up and said to herself “This guy is never going to listen to me, much less help me.” Than the judge would have never helped her. Prayer can be the same way. Sometimes God delays an answer us because he is trying our faith so that it would be made stronger. He wants us to steadfastly wait for him to bring about an answer in his own time.
Have you ever started to pray for someone or about something but after a little while lost hope or simply forgot about it? I know that for me this has been the case all too often. I will be burdened to pray, but after the initial motivation goes away, so does the prayer. Why does this happen? I found that it is usually it is because of a lack of faith or simply a lack of discipline. When I began to focus on the problem instead of the One who can fix it, I become discouraged in my prayer life. Sometimes my prayer life is hindered because of a lack of self discipline. When I do not manage my time well, or I become preoccupied with other things, prayer can easily fall by the wayside.
How can we maintain a persistent prayer life than? How can we continue to steadfastly pray when the initial motivation goes away? Here are somethings that I am finding useful to keep me on track.
Reading scriptures on prayer, and books about prayer is great because they are an encouragement and can help you to stay focused in your prayer life. Christian biographies about the prayer warriors of the past are also great resources because they show us the power of prayer and the faithfulness of the Lord through their very lives. A few books that I really liked are Wrestling Prayer by Eric and Leslie Ludy and The Autobiography of George Muller.
I find these to be very helpful for reminding me to pray for specific people or things. These can be anything from a missionary prayer card to something as simple as a name on a sticky note or a photograph. They are nice because you can put them on your mirror, on a wall by your desk , or anywhere else where you are likely to see them throughout your day.
Have A Fixed Prayer Time
Cut out a chunk of time in your daily routine and set it aside specifically for prayer. I love this quote from Corrie ten Boom “Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it”. If you are finding this difficult to do you may need to reevaluate your schedule. Think about what you are spending your free time on. It may be hard at first to cut some of your leisure activities out, but you will find the rewards of spending that time in prayer far greater than anything you had to give up.
Marie Michael is a hopeful Christian young woman who is actively striving to serve the Lord in her everyday life. She enjoys cooking and painting.