persistence is shameless

Have you ever felt embarrassed for the way you sought after something?  Like a lost key or glove, trying to find your way on the streets, or forgetting where your locker was.  

Prayer is the same way some times.  We feel like beggars or the needy.  As Americans that is not popular.  But, the examples of persistence in prayer are many.  A look through the bible will support the importance of learning the idea of process-praying:

Old Testament:

-Abraham pleads with God for Sodom…(Genesis 18:16)
-Hannah praying for years for a child…(1 Samuel 1)
-Elijah prays repeatedly 7 days for rain…(1 Kings 18:41/James 5:16)
-Nehemiah’s 4-month fasting and prayer before he went to the king…(Nehemiah 1:1-2:1)
-Intercessors on the wall who would not give God rest…(Isaiah 62)
-Daniel’s prayers that were day and night continually…(Daniel 10/11)

New testament:

-Matthew records Jesus pleading with us to be incessant…(Matthew 7:7-11)
-Jesus in the garden before His death…(Mark 13)
-Persistence of a neighbor and his desire for help…(Luke 11:5-10)
-The widow and her wearying the judge for protection…(Luke 18:1-8)
-Paul asking for the deliverance of his “thorn”…(2 Corinthians 12)
-Paul’s incessant prayers for the church, his friends, etc…(Colossians 1:3)
-Peter and his stress upon the effectual praying of Elijah…(James 5:16)

What are the lessons we can learn from this?

*Persistence is shameless.  When we know what we want we are free to pursue it with our whole heart.  God desires that in us. 

*God is not frustrated by our patience and begging.  

*Our answers to prayer are not earned through persistence, we learn through persistence.  God may be changing us before He answers our prayers!

*God set the standard of processional praying…

“My Spirit will not always strive (abide, judge, rule over, or work with) with man forever…”
-Genesis 6:1-3

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock (continually), if any man hears my (constant) voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him….”
-Revelation 3:20