One of the greatest hindrances to our prayer life is a lack of perseverance. Oftentimes we quit praying too soon. It’s easy to feel that since we’ve asked, the answer to our prayers should immediately be forthcoming or our need should quickly be met. However, God is not a bellhop, just waiting to give us exactly what we want the moment that we want it. We often have to exercise patience and continue praying.
All Christians are given the Holy Spirit to seal their relationship with God, and it is He who counsels believers on how to pray (Rom. 8:26). We sometimes believe that we need to come to God only when we have a need. However, prayer is about intimacy with the Father. If the Lord gave us whatever we wanted as soon as we asked Him, we would not be able to understand the dynamic of our relationship—and might never learn important skills like patience or dependence.
Think of the apostle Paul, who tells us that he implored three times for his “thorn in the flesh” to be removed before God gave him a firm answer of no (2 Cor. 12:7-8). This probably refers to three protracted periods of time that Paul begged for relief. When we have been praying for a long time about something and don’t feel as if our words are going anywhere, that is not the time to quit. We have to pray through those situations. God is listening attentively to our cries, and His Spirit is our constant companion—even when we cannot “feel” His presence or involvement in our lives. Instead of ceasing to pray, will you call on the Holy Spirit to aid you in persevering?