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Pounding on Heaven’s Door: Adventures in Persistent Prayer

Posted By Denise Miller Holmes on Monday

Savvy Article #0908

Satisfying answers to prayer are always welcome, but how often are we willing to wait for them? Or especially, how long are we willing to persevere in prayer for them?

I am just learning this. Throughout my walk with Christ, I have often run out of energy in my prayer life because the answer was not appearing in my timing.

And now I am going through a time where I know God wants me to pray for something that, not only doesn’t seem likely, but, is long-term. I have gone in and out of wanting to pray for it, and find myself saying that it will never happen.

In the book, MIGHTY PREVAILING PRAYER, Wesley L. Duewel talks about several reasons why our prayers may take a long time to be answered.

The one that spoke to me today is the concept that, sometimes, what we are praying for has a lot of working parts. These working parts include people. When we keep praying for something and it doesn’t come quickly, sometimes God is working on all these working parts, including people’s hearts.

Another thing that inspired me is the fact that, historically, many great things are accomplished after a pray-and-wait of many years.

On page 152, he lists several early pioneer missionaries who prayed and agonized in exotic places (I’m sure with mosquitoes buzzing ’round their heads) and didn’t get one convert for many years.

Listen to the number of years these men prayed and waited until they got a convert: William Carey, 7 years; Adoniram Judson, 7 years; Robert Morrison, 7 years; Robert Moffat, 7 years; and Henry Richards, 7 years. (Google them. They’re famous missionaries.)

Someday I will do a blog on the biblical significance of 7, but the point is—they waited, and prayed, and agonized, a long time! And the biggest epiphany for me is that, I am normal (there are friends of mine out there who will argue).

What I mean by ‘normal’ is this: Why should I think that I am any different from spiritual giants who have gone before me? Why should the answers to my prayers come sooner or shinier than theirs?

It is normal to have to wait for answered prayer. So don’t give up!  You and I do not know what foundations are being laid, what God is building, while we are waiting and wondering what the heck is going on. If we give up too soon, we will not see the fruit.

Galatians 6:9 puts it perfectly: “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we will reap, if we faint not.”

I’ll say it again, don’t give up!

For a related article, go to my Examiner article: Peace through prayer

About The Author

Denise Miller Holmes
Denise Miller Holmes enjoys teaching biblical topics, and especially researching and communicating what Christians believe about the world around them. She sometimes turns established viewpoints on end. A graduate of the University of Southern California School of Journalism, Denise also has a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology, and has been a Christian for over 35 years. She belongs to the writers’ groups Words for the Journey and American Christian Fiction Writers.


3 Responses to “Pounding on Heaven’s Door: Adventures in Persistent Prayer”

  1. Jan says:

    So very true. I just received an answer to something I prayed for and gave up on. But God is more faithful than I. What a gracious God He is!

  2. I believe it is 2 Timothy 2:13 that says that when we are faithless, he is still faithful. It is true that God will show us that He hasn’t given up, even though we have. I think those times are to make us even more persistent later on. Your experience shows that He does indeed think of us all the time!

  3. [...] that I need will come, but it will take time. In the meantime, as prescribed in my article Pounding on Heaven’s Door: Adventures in Persistent Prayer, I felt strongly I was supposed to be praying and not giving up. This was [...]

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