Your mother just text. Surprise! Your out of town parents have decided to drive in a day early, are due to pull in in an hour, and are starving.
Scrambling, you pull out a taco dinner kit from the cabinet only to discover it expired two years ago. Great. You then spy a box of cookie mix but remember you have one egg, instead of the needed two. Ugh!
You have nothing to serve them; Nothing.
Wait, your trusty neighbor! She stocks her shelves for the just in case scenario; surely she'll have what you need. To top it off, she won't judge you for asking for help!
You hurry over to her cutely decorated door and semi-calmly ring the doorbell with an added light knock knock for good measure. No answer.
Her car is in the driveway so you know she’s home. You press the doorbell again and knock a little more insistently as you peer in and see the kitchen light on. She’s definitely home, but still, no answer.
Your parents are due to arrive at any minute. You really need her to come to your aid. You knock loudly this time while repeatedly pressing the doorbell.
"Come on! Where are you? Please answer the door and help me remedy this situation!"
Knock, knock, knock! Ring, ring, ring!
Finally, she comes stumbling to the door, complete with a crying infant on her hip and a grumpy toddler hanging on her leg all with rumpled clothes and bed head hair, rubbing the sleep from their stolen afternoon nap.
But in reality there is no "Oops!" for when Jesus told the real parable found in Luke 11:5-8, He beautifully portrayed a person who shamelessly persevered in their quest.
Shameless persistence, instead of a nonchalant attitude about prayer, should characterize us Jesus Girls! We have the power of the risen Christ in us to help us push through the disappointments, the failures and yes, even the silence.
I don't know about you, but persevering in my prayer life isn't a trait which comes naturally for me. So, I dug into Scripture and searched for the hallmarks to persevering in prayer. I found three gems in Luke 11:5-9:
1. A Trusting Heart Perseveres in Prayer.
And He said to them,
“Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight
and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves,'" Luke 11:5
"Friend" - Think of when life gets hard; you instantly want to call or text who? Your friend, right? How kind, then, of Jesus to use the term friend for it softens our relationship with Him to a safe place, a place we crave to go. Why; because we can trust Him with our heart.
Trust is "a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something."
This perfectly describes Jesus -- reliable, true, able, strong -- and we genuinely have no better friend than Him. We can trust Him and can shamelessly pour out our worries and concerns to Him. Oh, if only we truly lived out,
"Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart
and lean not on your own understanding."
Persevering in prayer helps us realize we have no dearer friend than Jesus.
2. A Humble Heart Perseveres in Prayer.
"for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey,
and I have nothing to set before him;" Luke 11:6
“I have nothing" - In our flesh, we love to believe we have what it takes to correct the situation or person, but in reality, we don’t. We need God's profusion of resources such as peace, joy, love, hope, wisdom, etc.
Why, oh why, don't we humble ourselves and seek Him in prayer? "If we truly believed that we are needy and He is all-sufficient, willing, able to meet our needs, we would pray!" says Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth.
The humble heart -- one who is meek, deferential, respectful, submissive -- persists in prayer ever mindful of the lack of resources we have without God. It is the humble heart who admits, "I can’t, but God can." I've lived many days to see the beauty found in James 4:6,
But He gives us more grace.
That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble."
Persevering in prayer helps us realize the strength we have in our total dependence on God.
3. A Determined Heart Perseveres in Prayer.
"I tell you, though he will not get up
and give him anything because he is his friend,
yet because of his impudence
he will rise and give him whatever he needs." Luke 11:8
“because of his impudence” - This man was adamantly shameless in his request, like an army on the battlefield, wave after wave, regrouping and running toward the battle line again and again. This type of tenacity in prayer pleases God.
Yet, we are weak and flabby in our faith, giving up too quickly while the situation continues to persist. "Wake up, O Sleeper!" Shake off your complacency and "pray without ceasing," having the faith to push through, the hope to pray shamelessly, and the determination to persevere in prayer.
Persevering in prayer helps us realize our constant prayers do not aggravate God; they please Him.
Jesus explained the friend prayer parable this way;
“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you;
seek, and you will find;
Knock, and it will be opened to you.”
He encourages us to ask, seek, and knock. Dear one, shamelessly persevering is God's will for your prayer life. I like how Elizabeth Elliott put it, "Pray when you feel like praying. Pray when you don't feel like praying. Pray until you do feel like praying."
Shamelessly persevering in prayer keeps us safely tethered to the heart of the One who knows us best and desires the best for us.
How about you?
- Does your heart trust Jesus as a friend trusts a best friend?
- Is your heart humble, acknowledging your desperate need for Him?
- Finally, are you willing to go the distance, to not yield, to shamelessly persist?
Through Christ's power, you can become a woman of prayer who shamelessly persists.
For further encouragement, check out the rest of our Prayer Series:
The Power of Prayer - Part 1
The Perseverance of Prayer - Part 2
The Promise of Prayer - Part 3
The Purpose of Prayer - Part 4
Tammy Valdivia - Jesus Girl. Wife. Momma. Student. Teacher. Confidante. Lover of milky coffee, dark chocolate, deep talks, lively laughter, and a front row seat on the beach at sunrise.