An overweight businessman decided to shed some excess pounds. His New Year’s resolution was to change his eating habits and he was committed to that goal, even changing his route to work to avoid passing his favorite bakery. He persisted and pounds began melting away.
One morning, however, he arrived at work carrying a gigantic coffeecake. His co-workers chided him, but he replied, "This is a very special coffeecake. I accidentally drove by the bakery this morning and in the window was this cake. I prayed, `Lord, if you want me to have that cake, provide a parking place directly in front of the bakery.'”
"Sure enough," he continued, "the eighth time around the block, there it was!"
I don’t know whether God wanted him to have that cake, but I do admire the man’s persistence. Persistence is good.
Jesus told a parable of persistence to make a point about prayer. A widow, he said, “kept coming” to a judge who “neither feared God nor cared about men.” Because she “kept coming,” the judge finally relented saying, “because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually wear me out with her coming!” (Luke 18:5).
With that parable, Jesus taught that we should “always pray and not give up” (v.1). Our Father does care about what is right. If a crooked judge can do the right thing, how much more will a caring and just God do the right thing if we “always pray and not give up”?
So, are we persistent in prayer? Or, do we give up?
I don’t pretend to understand why God wants us to ask more than once. I’m sure he remembers what we prayed without the repetition. I’m confident he could grant any request any time he wants. But, for some reason, he wants us to persist – to “always pray and not give up.”
Whatever the reason, the instruction is clear. We should “always pray and not give up.” I’ll try to do that. Will you?y. If it’s not important enough for us to persist, maybe it’s not important enough for God to grant. Or, it could be a matter of timing. God certainly knows best the best time to grant a request.
Whatever the reason, the instruction is clear. We should “always pray and not give up.” I’ll try to do that. Will you?