Don’t Stop Praying
Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.
Colossians 4:2 NKJV
When God? When? How long is this going to take? Why is this taking so long? Have you ever asked God these questions because you were going through a period of fasting and praying, or just praying and it seems like the answer is stalled, or you believe it’s not coming? Have you ever been tempted to give up or throw in the towel because you have felt it is taking too long for the answer to come? If we were honest, we all have experienced times like this, or perhaps, you are experiencing such a situation right now. You wonder whether you have done something wrong; you question how long you should pray about the situation or whether your request is in the will of God.
As we wait for God to answer our prayers, Paul emphatically urges us to keep an ongoing dialogue with God and not treat prayer like a singular, isolated event. Personal communication with God should be part of our lifestyle. He also urges us to be vigilant or watchful — keeping a careful watch – for possible dangers or problems. Prayer is not some thoughtless act; it should be specific and deliberate. Lastly, Paul reminds us that thanksgiving should be a part of prayers. We should have an attitude of gratitude when we approach God with our prayers. If we believe God will grant our requests, we should be prepared and willing to thank Him for the answers.
Your willingness to yield to God and make the changes He requests is essential when seeking His blessing, as there may be places in your life that are now preventing Him from doing so. If there is anything in your life that needs to be given to God, the Holy Spirit will convict your heart as you get closer to God. If you give in to His prodding and repent, the things that have been standing in the way of your prayers will go, and the answers to your petitions will come swiftly. God desires an intimate relationship with you in which you give Him control of every aspect of your life. In exchange, God assures you that your prayers will be answered.
Have you ever participated in a 10K race or another athletic event? Many times, runners and walkers will dash from the starting line with exuberant energy, but as the race continues, some people begin to run out of gas, slow down, question why they signed up in the first place, or even have thoughts of not finishing. Sometimes we take the same attitude toward prayer. We begin with enthusiasm in anticipation of a quick answer, but as days, weeks, months, or even years go by, we lose our zeal. We lose our enthusiasm, and our desire to persevere wanes. This is the very thing Paul warns us not to do. We must keep pressing! We must be watchful for the answers because, more than likely, they may not look like the box in which we put God. We cannot grow weary.
The Christian’s prayer habit should be as regular as breathing, but all too frequently, it’s the first “obligation” set aside when the pressures of life mount or time becomes scarce. A lack of daily prayer is often the first step toward spiritual apathy, worldliness, and a weakened Christian witness.
Unless we learn to be persistent and devote ourselves to praying, we risk being lazy, indifferent and compromised in our faith. Prayer is how we sustain an unbroken relationship with our heavenly Father. All our spiritual protections should be fastened with prayer, which is what prayer devotion is about. Ephesians 6:18, “Pray always with all petition and supplication in the Spirit, and be on the lookout in prayer, with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.”
Praying is more than just closing your eyes and folding your hands in front of your chest. Prayer is the instrument God has given us to get ready for the work He has given us to accomplish and to ensure we are prepared for any crisis that may arise. You should not put off praying until you need to. We must cultivate a mindset of constant prayer, as it is our connection to the Lord.
Have you ever been so discouraged in your prayer life as you waited for an answer that you thought about giving up because the answer did not come as quickly as you had desired? If so, do not throw your hands up in frustration and walk away! If you keep your faith and remain vigilant, you may be on the verge of receiving your long-awaited response. And, while praying, do not forget to include thanksgiving.
Heavenly Father, I have concluded that my level of zeal in prayer needs to increase! I will pray with dedication and perseverance until every obstacle is eliminated and the solution becomes apparent in my life. To exercise my faith, I am keeping a vigilant eye on the answer I have requested from You. Right now, I am raising my voice in faith and am beginning to thank You in advance and consistently for the things I have asked. In Jesus’ name, I pray.
Upcoming Connect 21 Events
- Prayer 201, Wednesday, Jan 11th via Zoom
- Saturday Morning Prayer (Jan 14th @ 9 am at The Way UMC – Latimer Hall)
- Sunday Morning Service (Jan 15th @ 10 am at River Ridge High School)