Why does God make us persevere in prayer?
Why does he tell us to keep “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance?” (EPH 6.18)
If he intends to answer our prayers, why doesn’t he answer the moment we ask? If he’s going to save a rebellious child, for example, why doesn’t he save him sooner rather than later? Why must we ask again and again? A few thoughts:
God has higher priorities than quickly answering our prayers, like his own glory. Sometimes by delaying he displays his glory more brilliantly. Authors often put a character in a life-threatening situation, then makes it more and more desperate, till all hope is gone. Then at the last second, the hero rides in and against unbelievable odds, overcomes every obstacle and rescues the character. The hero gets much more glory this way. The more desperate our situation, the more God’s power, mercy and wisdom shine when he comes through.
Sometimes he delays because he has work to do in us. Forming Christ in us is more important than immediately meeting our needs. By delaying God raises our faith to new heights, fortifies our patience, and cultivates our dependence on him.
Perseverance in prayer also deepens our relationship with our Father. If he always responded the second we asked we’d only come to him when we wanted something, like a big quick stop convenience store in the sky.
God is after our joy
Don’t we appreciate the answer more when we have to wait? Our joy is greater, our thankfulness more heartfelt, our relief sweeter. God is after our highest joy and knows how and when to give it to us.
photo (and isn’t this a cool photo?) by toolmantim