Keep. On. Praying.

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.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:1-8)

In Jesus’ parable, the judge didn’t care about justice, nor the widow’s plight. He didn’t fear God or care what any man thought. Yet he responded to the widow’s persistence. Jesus’ point is not that we have to wear God out with our petitions till he finally caves in to stop us from bothering him. Jesus wants to encourage us that God DEEPLY CARES about his children who cry out to him. He IS listening. HOW MUCH MORE will God respond to our prayers than the judge to the widow. God is not delaying for no reason. He will come to our help speedily – though from our perspective it might not seem that way. But in his infinite wisdom, he won’t delay an answer for one second longer than necessary for our good.

So pray always and do not lose heart. You may have prayed for a loved one’s salvation for years and years and see no change yet. Don’t give up. Don’t stop praying.

There are some things I’m praying for that seem impossible from a human point of view.  I don’t know if they are God’s will, but I know that God could do what I ask if he so desires. Nothing is impossible for him. So until he makes his will clear to me, I’m going to keep asking again and again and again, though it seems like nothing is changing.

God’s answer to your prayers could be just around the corner. He may answer your 20 years of prayer today. Don’t think God doesn’t care or doesn’t hear just because nothing has changed yet. He hears your prayers (Ps 65:2; 77:1). The prayer of the upright is powerful and effective, though it may not feel powerful (James 5:16-18). Not one prayer is wasted. God hears our every sigh. He doesn’t tire of us asking, but wants us to bring our requests to him. If Jesus tells us to not lose heart, and pray always, it’s because he intends to answer our prayers.

So keep asking, keep thanking, keep hoping. Don’t give up.

  • Elaine Eshleman

    Thanks, Mark! Needed to hear this today!

    • Mark Altrogge

      Grateful God would use it to encourage you, Elaine.

  • Ed Billock

    Indeed…God's great tapestry of our life is woven with these threads of both prayer & His heart/providence for us!

    • Mark Altrogge

      Well put, Ed!

  • Katy

    Amen. I prayed and prayed and prayed– and got discouraged – and kept on praying – and got even more discouraged – but kept praying and kept hoping- for a husband. I was going to keep praying for a godly spouse until God either took those desires away or gave me a spouse. It took 7 years from when I started praying, but He provided. I now try to remember that every time I pray for those hurting or waiting or sick. I try to remind myself that He answered my prayers before – in His own time.

    • Mark Altrogge

      Powerful testimony, Katy! Thank you for sharing this!

  • Holly

    I have been praying for my brother’s salvation for years and years and I will never give up, but this post gave me tears and hope. God is all powerful, and he does hear. “Dont give up. Don’t stop praying.” just what I needed to hear. Like strong words from a coach’s corner in a boxing match. thanks for the post

    • Mark Altrogge

      I'm so glad you were encouraged, Holly. I'm praying for a number of people's salvation and I won't quit either. Never, never, never give up!

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  • smp

    A tree is popping up in the middle of my driveway, …like that photo! Now it is a visual to me of how God is able to do more than we ask or imagine, and for me to persevere in prayer and trust! …maybe I should just let the tree keep on growing!

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