Jimmy never missed a church service. I knew him when I was a teenager growing up in Scotland, and I can still remember how he prayed at our Tuesday night prayer meetings. Every single week he prayed for his wife, asking God to give her the desire to know Jesus. The beautiful northern brogue with which Jimmy spoke of his passion for Jesus left an indelible mark on my heart. His wife was a lovely woman, but she had no desire to have anything to do with Jimmy’s church or his God. But he kept on praying. He never stopped praying. And then he died.
I wonder if God told Jimmy when He welcomed him home that his prayers had been answered. At Jimmy’s memorial service, his wife finally bowed her knee to the Savior he had served all his life. There wasn’t a dry eye in the church that day as we celebrated the fruit of a prayer warrior who completely trusted God’s promises and never stopped praying.
Sometimes when we pray for a person and our prayers seem to make no difference, we can feel like giving up. The Enemy would love for us to believe the lie that our prayers make no difference at all. And that’s exactly what it is: a lie. In Luke 18, Jesus told about a widow who would not quit asking a judge for help even when he continued to ignore her. According to Luke,
Jesus told His disciples [this] parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. — Luke 18:1
I’ve heard people say, “The only thing left to do is pray.” But it’s not the only thing left to do; it’s always the best thing we can do!
Prayer is not the last resort; it’s the first and most effective line of attack.
Five Minutes in the Word
There was also a prophetess, Anna, a daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well along in years, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and was a widow for 84 years. She did not leave the temple complex, serving God night and day with fasting and prayers. — Luke 2:36–37
Truly God has listened; He has attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, because He has not rejected my prayer or removed His steadfast love from me! — Psalm 66:19-20
[The Lord] will listen to the prayers of the destitute. He will not reject their pleas. Let this be recorded for future generations, so that a people not yet born will praise the Lord. — Psalm 102:17-18
Whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith. — Matthew 21:22
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. — Romans 12:12
Excerpted with permission from 5 Minutes With Jesus by Sheila Walsh, copyright Thomas Nelson.
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Is there something that you used to pray about that you’ve given up on? Is there someone you used to pray for for salvation that at some point you decided is beyond God’s reach? Don’t quit praying! Be relentless in knocking and knocking and knocking (Luke 11:9)! Come join us in conversation on our blog. We want to hear from you about persisting in prayer. ~ Devotionals Daily