Persevere– (n) firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.

Oxford Dictionary 

Does prayer seem like a struggle to you? Do you find yourself wondering if God is listening or will ever answer? Do you just want to give up? I hope this lesson will encourage you and teach you how to persevere in prayer.

My kids are the most persistent people I know. They will ask for the same things over and over again. I feel like a broken record with my reply, “If you ask again, it’s not happening.” 

My five year old got ahold of my phone every. single. day. last week and used Google voice to find the baby alive doll she wanted. She showed it to me and asked for it for her birthday which is 6 months away!! 

It’s not just the littles, my thirteen year old son will relentlessly ask for more time to play his PS4 or to stay up later at night.

It drives me to crazy town!! Somedays, it feels easier to compromise or give in instead of standing my ground. So, I completely understand the position of the judge in the parable Jesus told in Luke 18.

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.  He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought.  And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’

“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think,  yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’”

And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?  I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

Luke 18:1-8 NIV

Lessons from Luke 18 on How to Persevere in Prayer

1. Always Pray & Don’t Give Up

In verse 1, Jesus told them this story so that they would “always pray and not give up”. The widow’s plea’s to the unjust judge represent prayer in the parable.

The persistent widow came to the judge over and over again with the same plea. We have no idea how often it was. It could have been weekly, daily, or several times every day. But, I think in order to get to the point where it “bothered” the judge that it had to be often enough.

I Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “pray without ceasing” and Romans 12:12 says, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Here are more scriptures to consider on this topic: Phil. 4:6 , Eph. 6:18

What if we are missing out on so many blessings and answers to prayer simply because we gave up? The widow certainly wasn’t taking no for an answer. Of the scriptures above, none of them give us the option of casual prayer but of prayer that never stops, it is to persevere in prayer!

I know this, through prayer, we find peace, we find the strength and hope to carry on, and we are promised in Matthew 7:8 that ” everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

What are you praying for Momma? Perhaps it’s a wayward child, a sick little one, more peace and rest in your life, or a stressful marriage. Keep at it! The Lord is listening and He encourages you to “keep coming with your plea”, to persevere in prayer, just like the widow.

2. Come in Bold Faith

The widow believed in her cause. She did not go back over and over again with out believing that she might get what she was asking. That would have been ridiculous and would not have caught the judge’s attention.

She came boldly, often, and in complete faith. Jesus ends the parable asking “When the son of man comes, will he find faith upon the earth?” This begs us to realize that the faith behind our prayers is vital.

  • And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
  • Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
  • But he must ask in faith, without doubting, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (James 1:6-8)

One more thing that I think is very interesting is that I believe we see a passionate faith in this woman. Notice in verse 5 that the judge says to himself, “yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!” It kind of makes me chuckle to think of this man who didn’t even “fear God” was so concerned that this woman might come back and physically accost him.

This is the kind of faith that we need on our knees Mommas!! The kind of faith that makes believers out of everyone around us! This faith that says we mean business and will persevere in prayer!

We will not scare God but He can see our passion through our actions and motives behind our prayers. He will know that we are not double minded but that we have bold belief in Him acting on our petition.

3. Know that God is Just

Jesus assures us in verses 6-8 that our Lord is just and “will bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night… I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.” It is very important that we believe that God is just because this is the foundation of the faith we need in asking and the motivation we need to pray always and not give up.

Notice the justice is for those who “cry out day and night.” This is more proof of our need to pray continually without giving up. The promise is that if we do not give up and have faith that we will get justice.

God’s justice is spoken of often through out the entire Bible. I hope these verses motivate you and remind you that we pray to a God who is a lover of mercy and justice. Our prayers to Him are not misplaced and He hears our pleas. He is working on our behalf when we persevere in prayer.

  • Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! (Isaiah 30:18)
  • He is the Rock, his works are perfect and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. (Deuteronomy 32:4)
  • The Lord reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment. He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity. (Psalm 9:7-8)

But God Knows Best

Remember how I started out telling you about my kids being super persevering in their wants? Well, yesterday, I was in the shower and my little one busted in with a compelling argument on why she and her sister needed their bunk beds separated. This is not an option because of the size of their room. They have bunkbeds for a reason. As I was explaining this to her, I thought about this blog post that I am trying to wrap up for you.

So, here’s the thing, we may ask over and over again without giving up and have all the faith in the world but sometimes, it just ain’t happening. Just like we admit for the most part, “Momma knows best”, God truly does know best. He can see the future, He can see your struggles, and He knows all factors.

The truth is that sometimes we don’t get what we ask for because it just isn’t going to work out (like the bunkbeds) or it isn’t best for us (like my kids wanting more PS4 time or more candy).

And, sometimes, our requests are just plain selfish and God knows it. James 4:3 says, “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”

FAITH is about TRUST. This is the bottom line. If we truly believe that God is good, God is just, and if we have faith in Him, then we must trust that whether He gives, with holds, or takes away, it is for our good and for His glory!

Persevere in prayer Momma, all the while, knowing that God is listening, God is at work, and God wants what is best for you and your family! Pray with passion, pray with boldness, but pray knowing that God’s will is good.

Want to get started in persistent prayer for your kiddos? Here are some resources to get you started:

Need some prayers or more motivation for yourself? Check these out: