January 24, 2024

Persistent Prayer

Written by Boyd Bailey

Persistent prayers transform the person praying.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – January 24, 2024

And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city, there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while, he refused, but afterward, he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’”  Luke 18:1-5

Jesus tells the story of a remarkable widow. She was a persistent woman who sought the attention of an unsympathetic judge, who ghosted her and totally ignored her plea for justice. Talk about an underdog; her status in society gives her very little recourse to seek, much less demand an audience with a judge…and being a judge who neither feared God nor respected man made matters even direr. Can you imagine the fear of being alone in a hostile society? An arbitrator without character was the focus of her request. With astounding self-awareness, the judge confessed to himself that he was a man lacking integrity, yet the more he denied her request, the more she persisted in seeking justice. Finally, worn down, he extended justice. Not because it was the right thing to do but because the judge was beaten down by dealing with this passionate, righteous widow. How much more does our loving Lord answer our humble prayers?

And, our prayers are lifted to our generous heavenly Father, not a dismissive, distant judge. Our heavenly Father longs to give His beloved blessing upon blessing. So, we focus our prayers on pure Love. Jesus gives us the purpose of the parable at the outset, “they ought always to pray and not lose heart.” Faith focuses on the generous provision of heaven and not on the obstacles on earth seeking to dissuade us. In addition, love compels us to seek the Lord with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Prayer is relational, not transactional. As we submit our requests to God, we are simultaneously submitting ourselves to His transformational process of becoming the likeness of Jesus Christ. The created’s love relationship with the Creator takes on the attributes of the Creator. Persistent prayers transform the person praying while trusting the outcomes will align with God’s will. Always pray without losing heart in the heart of Love. 

You may be praying for a child away from the Lord; if that is the case, keep up your prayers, especially when your child seems unaware or uninterested in God. Prayer will grow you into a more attractive parent for your child to love and be loved. Intense intercession leans into the power of the Holy Spirit to draw other believers into the life of your loved one. The sick and the dying call out for your prayers of comfort, peace, and healing. Stay persistent, as heaven is the spiritual hospital of the hurting. Injustice traumatizes culture and community…do not give up to exhaustion or give in to relentless opposition. The God of justice reins over every unjust system and unjust person. Persistently pray while you show up to appeal before earthly authorities. You are beloved, so obey Jesus Christ’s command to persistently pray, and His love will overcome!

Here is a prayer from a persistent person of prayer, Henri Nouwen, such a blessing: 

Dear God, I am full of wishes, full of desires, full of expectations. Some of them may be realized, many may not, but in the midst of all my satisfactions and disappointments, I hope in you. I know that you will never leave me alone and will fulfill your divine promises. Even when it seems that things are not going my way, I know that they are going your way and that in the end your way is the best way for me. O Lord, strengthen my hope, especially when my many wishes are not fulfilled. Let me never forget that your name is Love. Amen

“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2).


Heavenly Father, I praise you for being a generous Father who is patient with my persistent prayers. I trust you with what’s best through Christ’s love and in Jesus’ name.


Pray about inviting a prayer warrior to join you in your specific persistent prayer.

Related Reading

Genesis 32:26; Ephesians 6:18; Colossians 4:2-6; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Worship Resource

Charity Gayle/Steven Musso: I Speak Jesus


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