Ephesians 6:18 NIV 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
A few months back I was in prayer and I believe the Lord gave me a word. The word was that I was to be RELENTLESS in prayer.
So what exactly does that mean? I looked up the word in the Oxford Dictionary and here is the definition..
never stopping or weakening, harsh or inflexible.
Keeping this in mind, during one of our evening Church services, I was asked to pray for a gentleman in our church that had been suffering with bursitis. I did as asked and remember saying , “Lord, we don’t ask this because we deserve it but simply because of the price Jesus paid we are able to come before your throne and ask and you will hear our prayers.” The gentleman had been in pain for a long time and been unable to lift his arm due to the pain and therefore it was really limiting his physical abilities. At the time we prayed I believe God heard our prayer but we didn’t see any instant miracle. The next day when I was driving to work the Lord reminded me that I was to continue to pray for this man. I was not to relent until I no longer had the burden of prayer for him. So I did. I held him up in prayer during my morning prayer time for about a week and a half and then the burden was gone. I no longer thought about it or prayed about it but believed I had done what I was to do,and left the rest to Christ.
A few months later I was leaving the Church and this gentleman approached me and took me aside. He mentioned he wanted to talk to me about something. He asked if I remembered that I had prayed for him for his bursitis problem? I let him know that I did. He had no way of knowing that the Lord had told me to continue to hold him in prayer until the tug of prayer for him was gone. He then told me that that Sunday he went home and didn’t feel any different, the pain was still there. Then he said about a week later he noticed that when he went to do something physical he had not been able to do prior, because of the pain and reduced mobility, the pain was completely gone! He began to move his arm all over and realized the bursitis was gone! Needless to say he was thankful to God and relieved!
I learned a valuable lesson that day. Christ could have healed him instantly but He didn’t. He had given me the word that I was to continue in prayer until the prayer tug was gone. I did and it would seem that the bursitis was healed around the same time I no longer felt the tug. I don’t know why this gentleman wasn’t healed instantly but I do know that I obeyed the Spirit’s leading and continued to pray until I was released of that prayer. Perhaps the lesson was something both myself and my brother in Christ were both to learn. We are to be RELENTLESS when it comes to praying a matter through until we no longer have the burden to pray.
I have since wondered how many prayers are not answered simply because we get lazy and don’t press through? If you are praying for a job, lost loved ones, a difficult marriage etc. go to God and ask for His Spirit to guide you as to how to pray and then do so relentlessly. If you offer or are asked to pray for someone else and you agree to do so then do it! Don’t neglect to fulfill the responsibility because you don’t receive an instant answer, persevere. George Muller had it right when he said, “It is not enough to begin to pray, nor to pray aright; nor is it enough to continue for a time to pray; but we must patiently, believingly, continue in prayer until we obtain an answer.”
I am not suggesting you pray RELENTLESSLY for things that don’t line up with the word of God. Regardless of how often and how much you pray, if it goes against the nature of God or His word, being relentless in prayer will not get you your answer. James 4:3 NIV 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. Be sure that what you are asking for is in line with God’s word and His nature and then be bold. The word of God says in James 5:15 NIV And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned they will be forgiven. We were able to boldly ask God to heal our brother because His word says so. Be sure what you are praying for is not something against God’s laws or against another.
When you bring your needs, or the needs of others before God make sure what you are asking for lines up with the word of God and if it does pray it through. As followers of Christ, our walk is not one of instant gratification. There are times the Lord requires us to persevere. While you wait on your answer don’t grumble and complain but remain steadfast and thank Him for what He is doing and what He is going to do. Make 2013 your year to be RELENTLESS in prayer and then thank Him for the answers as they come!
Hebrews 6:11-15 NIV 11 We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. 12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. 13 When God made His promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for Him to swear by, He swore by Himself, 14 saying, ” I will surely bless you and give you many descendants”. 15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.
Romans 12:12 NIV 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer