Every Christian knows they should pray, and they many times feel guilty for not praying enough. How is it that some believers seem to be consistent in their prayer life, yet many others struggle to stay steady?
Years ago I had a conversation with a faithful intercessor named Nancy who was in her 90s. She had been praying for revival in our town for decades. She was the epitome of a faithful prayer warrior, and she reminded me of Anna, the prophetic intercessor in Luke 2. Yet after years and years of faithful service to the Lord, she was still as full of faith and joy as anyone else I knew. I had to ask her about her secret. How was it that she stayed faithful in prayer over the years? I was expecting some kind of tips or tricks or habits that helped her navigate her own life and make prayer more enjoyable. Instead, she paused for a moment and simply said, "He won't let me go."
This shifted my entire mindset about my relationship with God. Nancy understood that her relationship was a response to God. Her prayer life was a response to God's desire that she be close to Him. She was holding on to God because He was first holding on to her. Her desire was a reflection of His desire, and her faithfulness was actually God's faithfulness toward her. The Bible says we love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
This fresh understanding about how we relate to God has transformed my approach to prayer. No longer is the pressure on me to work up passion, desire and energy. Instead, I first need to simply connect to the one who wants to talk to me. The passion of Jesus energizes my heart, and His zealous love for me will never fade. When I see Him rightly, of course I want to come to Him in prayer!
Jesus understood one of our primary challenges with prayer would be staying persistent. That's why he addresses this very issue in a parable in Luke 18. In Episode 60 of Presence Pioneers on the Charisma Podcast Network, I share more about this parable and the lessons Jesus gives us on persistence in prayer.
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