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  • Dyfan Graves

Prayer Part 3 – Be Persistent!

I tend to go through phases, sometimes praying a lot (often when I’m going through a tough patch, or feeling inspired), sometimes not so much. As for what I pray for, I often pray once or a few times for something, but I soon forget what it was – except for something I feel rather deeply about, of course. But by and large, my prayer requests can often be as brief and fleeting as Tiktok videos – here one moment, gone the next.

This must have been much the same with Jesus’ disciples, as we read in Luke 11:5-13 a parable by Jesus about a person who goes to their friend’s house in the middle of the night to ask for help because they ran out of food to feed guests at their house. This was a real proper emergency in the culture Jesus was speaking into, especially given that 24-hour takeaways & Deliveroo weren’t a thing yet! The friend responded angrily – ‘how dare you wake me up at this ungodly hour’ – kind of thing. Jesus went on to say that though this friend was proper fed up, because the person just wouldn’t shut up, they were given some bread. And after this comes the famous verse "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." (Luke 11:9 NIV).

Now, I’m on the side of the friend here. You wake me up at midnight and I won’t be a happy chappy – my wife will attest to that! But actually, the persistent person is doing the right thing here according to Jesus. Hear me out – he’s not telling us to start never taking no for an answer with each other, or else you might find yourself losing friends pretty quickly! What Jesus is saying is this – if your friend is willing to respond to your shameless persistence, how much more will God, who is full of grace, and cares for you like a loving Father, listen to your prayers.

In other words: be persistent in prayer! Be badgering! Be dogged! Be relentless! If one part of the Lord’s Prayer tells the importance of praying according to His perfect will, this parable is telling us to be shameless in our praying. Shameless in bringing our needs and worries to the throne of God our Father. Not just once, but continually. Not to treat prayer like a cash machine, to go to it when we feel the need. That’s not what a relationship is! A relationship is to spend time with people, investing in your connection and communicating. Shameless persistence in praying fervently for what’s on our heart and bringing this to God, just as Jesus invites and teaches us to do.

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