I checked off something in my prayer journal that I’ve been praying about for fifteen years.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been tempted to give up and quit praying about it. Cross it off the list and mark through it with a permanent marker. It’s never going to happen. Why waste my time? I’m the only person who cares about this anyway.
But every year, when I’d revamp my prayer journal, I’d write it down again. And I’d keep praying.
I’d keep praying because I still wanted it to happen. I still believed it would please the Lord. I knew it would bring God glory.
Sometimes I’d pray with powerful, believing faith, and sometimes I’d pray with wimpy, doubting faith, but every morning, as I prayed down my list, I’d lift the request to God.
Today, as I prayed through my list of requests, I realized God had answered my prayer.
I was shocked.
Why am I surprised? I asked myself. Because the answer was so long in coming. I thought God had forgotten about me.
“Continue earnestly in prayer,” the apostle Paul encouraged the Colossians, “being vigilant in it with thanksgiving” (Col. 4:2).
The Greek word for “continue earnestly” means “to be courageously persistent” or “to hold fast and not let go.”
I like that—courageously persistent. And my Portuguese/Italian stubbornness appreciates “holding fast and not letting go.” But my wimpy self sometimes grows weary.
John Piper, in his book, Solid Joys, says, “. . . prayer pursues God’s glory by treating him as the inexhaustible reservoir of hope and help. In prayer, we must admit our poverty and God’s prosperity, our bankruptcy and his bounty, our misery and his mercy.”
If you’ve been praying about something for a very long time, please don’t give up. You’ve invested too much spiritual sweat equity to stop now. Throw yourself at God’s feet in humility and trust, knowing that he is your advocate. Your defender. Your mighty warrior.
And if you’ve given up, why not dust off that prayer request, write it in your prayer journal again, and shake your fist in Satan’s face.
And while you’re at it, write a few of these names underneath your prayer need:
Abraham, who waited decades for a son.
David, who waited years before he became king.
The Israelites, who endured 400 years of slavery before God sent a deliverer.
Hannah, who suffered through years of infertility before she birthed Samuel.
Abigail, who struggled for years with an arrogant, foolish, drunkard of a husband before God released her.
Joseph, who was kidnapped, enslaved, and imprisoned for years before God made him leader over Egypt.
And Jesus, who set aside his deity for 33 years and died on a cross to purchase our salvation.
These heroes and heroines of the faith were mighty prayer warriors who were courageously persistent and who held on and wouldn’t let go. May our names be listed one day beside theirs as a testimony of our steadfast faith and belief that “he who promised is faithful.”
“Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD” (Ps. 27:14).
Have you been praying for years about something? If you’ll leave a comment in the box below, I’d be honored to pray along with you today.