It’s easy to get tired, worn out and give up. It’s easy to find yourself not praying as often or to stop praying all together, especially when your situation looms over you like a dark, thunderous cloud. It’s easy to slip into the mindset of “nothing is changing so why bother to pray about that issue today”. I know it’s easy because I have found myself tired, worn out, and slowly asking the question, “why bother?”
For the past couple of weeks I haven’t been as persistent when praying for certain issues or symptoms that are a result of PCOS (side note: I will NEVER refer PCOS as MY PCOS because I refuse to “own” it.), and it’s because I’m just plumb tired and worn out (spiritually). Nothing seems to be changing and while I know I must walk by faith and not by sight, it’s hard to keep persevering in prayer when the thoughts of discouragement are so strong. But I can’t throw in the towel just yet…I can’t let myself get too spiritually weak. I can’t get lazy with my prayers because this is just what the devil wants. He knows that God answers persistent prayers, and if he can keep me from persevering through the delays, the obstacles, and my discouragement, than I will slowly quit laying my requests before God each morning and waiting with expectation (Psalm 5:3). No requests = no potential blessings
One of the main reasons people do not experience victory in prayer is simply because they give up too soon. ~Joyce Meyer
I know that I must be like the persistent widow in the book of Luke who continued to ask for justice from an unjust judge. The Bible says in the first verse of Chapter 18 that the purpose of this parable was to emphasize that we “ought always to pray and not coward (faint, lose heart, and give up)”. It’s obvious Jesus wanted to show us that if we don’t give up, but instead pull it together and become persistent and persevere in prayer, then blessings WILL come, questions will be answered, and requests will be granted. I am sure, the widow was worn out and discouraged, just like myself, but she never gave up in her asking, and as a result, she received what she wanted.
I also know of the story in the book of Mark about the blind beggar, Bartimaeus who shouted continually, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity and mercy on me!” I can just imagine people saying, “Will you just shut up?! Leave him alone! Can’t you see He won’t answer you?” But the Bible says that when people told him to keep quiet and keep still, he “kept on shouting out all the more” (Mark 10:47-48). He knew that Jesus was his only hope, so he refused to quit crying out to Him until He answered his plea for mercy and healing. As a result of his persistent and persevering attitude, Jesus stopped what He was doing and healed Bartimaeus right on the spot. What if he would have only shouted for Jesus once or twice, and then quit? Or what if he would have allowed discouragement to set in or had the mindset of “why bother anymore?” and quit? But sometimes it just seems easier to throw in the towel…or at least for the moment…but the fact is, we never know how close we are to our miracle. We must be like the persistent widow and Bartimaeus and NEVER GIVE UP!
Keep praying and watch God turn your mess into a miracle. ~Joyce Meyer
If I want to see success in my life, then I must not let these Bible stories become just “Sunday school lessons” but rather learn from them and demonstrate an attitude of perseverance. However, it’s hard to not let them be just good “Sunday School lessons”. I know they should inspire or encourage me to keep being persistent and to persevere despite my thoughts and feelings, but sometimes I need a little more than a Bible story…and I’m so thankful that God knows me and meets me right where I am because yesterday while I was “lacking” in my prayer time, I opened up Joyce Meyer’s book, “The Power of Simple Prayer” and the first page I randomly flipped to shared a couple’s struggle to conceive, but through their persistent and persevering prayer, God answered their cries for a child of their own. I have shared it below and I hope it encourages you as well.
John and Trish had children from previous marriages, but they believed God had spoken to their hearts and told them that they would have a child together. They prayed about this, and Trish became pregnant. The couple rejoiced over their good news, but soon that joy faded to mourning when Trish miscarried. The couple bounced back, standing on and praying the Word of God back to Him.
“God, you open and close the womb” (see Genesis 29:31, 30:22; 1 Samuel 1:5), John would pray. Trish would add, “Lord, Your Word says in Psalm 21 that when the king asked life from You, that You gave it to him, and You are not a respecter of persons.” The couple was asking God for life, and they truly believed that God was going to give them just that–another life.
Soon Trish got pregnant again, only to miscarry a second time. They couldn’t believe it. Again? Still, the couple prayed. And again, Trish was pregnant and miscarried a third time. People suggested adoption or simply quitting altogether, but John and Trish could not abandon the belief that God wanted to give them their own biological children.
Once more, John and Trish conceived, and once more, Trish miscarried. One miscarriage can be hard enough, but four? With the support of their church’s intercessors and their pastors, John and Trish continued to stand firm on the desire God had placed in their hearts and they continued praying Scriptures in circumstances that suggested they give up. And again, John and Trish conceived. Trish prayed fervently, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.” This time, while praying God impressed upon her heart Exodus 23:26 (NKJV): “No one shall suffer miscarriage or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the number of your days.”
Faithfully, God answered John and Trish’s prayer. Trish gave birth to Frances Faith, who is now a delightful testimony to God’s goodness, a great blessing to her parents, and a great encouragement to everyone who prayed for them and watched them persevere in prayer.~ Simple Power of Prayer by Joyce Meyer
Are their areas in your life where you have thrown in the towel? I encourage you to not let obstacles, discouragement, or the delay of a breakthrough cause you to quit praying or throw in the towel. Some prayers require a persistent and persevering attitude that refuses to quit asking, seeking and knocking. Matthew 7:7 says, “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” Keep on, keeping on! Don’t allow yourself to become lazy or weary in praying for your wants or needs because sometimes all God is looking for, is someone who will ask boldly and be persist with perseverance until their breakthrough comes. Will you be that person that keeps on asking? Keeps on seeking? Keeps on knocking?
Make this your motto today: “I’m not going to be quiet and I refuse to quit praying until I get my breakthrough. I may get tired and weary of asking, seeking, and knocking, but I’m going to press through my negative thoughts and feelings and keep on, keeping on until I see victory.”