Four Reasons to Keep Praying for an Answer
By Rick Warren
“Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers” (Ephesians 6:18 NLT).
Why should you be persistent in your prayers, like Ephesians 6:18 says, even when you don’t get an answer? There are four reasons.
Persistent prayer focuses your attention.
When you pray for something repeatedly, it’s not to remind God. He doesn’t need to be reminded! It’s to remind yourself who the source of your answer and all your needs is. If every prayer you ever prayed were instantly answered, two things would be true. First, prayer would become a weapon of destruction in your life. Second, you’d never think about God because he would become a vending machine. If every time you prayed you instantly got results, all you’d think about is the blessing. God wants you to think about the Blesser.
Persistent prayer clarifies your request.
A delayed answer gives you time to clarify exactly what you want and to refine your prayers. When you pray persistently to your heavenly Father, it separates deep longings from mere whims. It says, “God, I really care about this.” It’s not that God doesn’t want to answer your prayers. He does. It’s just that he wants you to be certain of what you really want.
Persistent prayer tests your faith.
James 1:3-4 says, “When your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing” (NLT). The only way you can grow to spiritual maturity is to have your faith tested. One of the ways God’s going to test your faith is by delaying some answers to your prayers.
Persistent prayer prepares your heart for the answer.
When you make a request of God, God almost always wants to answer in a better way than you’ve prayed. Sometimes God denies your prayer requests because you’re thinking and asking too small. He wants to give you something bigger! But first, he has to prepare you for it. So God uses delays in answering prayer to help you grow, get ready, and prepare for a bigger and better answer.
Remember, “God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20 NCV).
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