Greetings on the last Sunday before Thanksgiving!
I hope you are relaxed in your preparations for Thanksgiving, whether you are sheltering in place or joining together with at least some of your family and friends. Oh, and by the way, in less than a week, it will be December. Have you made any preparations yet for Christmas? Are there some decorations that you should be getting out of the attic? Just a little extra reminder!
This week I want to encourage you and myself of the importance of continuing in prayer unconditionally. This brings to mind the P word, yes I mean, perseverance!
Perseverance in prayer is of great value. Have you ever prayed about something and felt like no one was listening? Time after time, you have brought your request before the Lord and yet nothing changes. What do you do then? If you are like most people, you will be tempted to just give up; this must not be the Father’s will. Jesus taught a parable about a woman pestering a judge until he responded to her request, thereby encouraging us always to pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1–8).
As we have been praying for spiritual renewal since the summer with a focus also on the November 3 election, when we don’t see immediate answers to our prayers, we tend to want to give up. That’s when we need perseverance. Effective praying is like running a marathon. Endurance is the key. Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).
What some folks fail to realize is that this is a conditional promise. Unfortunately, the condition is missed in most of our English translations. The condition is perseverance. A literal rendering of the Greek text reads, “Keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking.” How many times have we failed to receive an answer to our prayers because we have failed to meet the condition of perseverance?
One of the greatest obstacles to perseverance in prayer was evident in the disciples themselves. Jesus said of them, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matt 26:41). To persevere in prayer takes vision, discipline, and self-sacrifice.
“You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth” (Isaiah 62:6–7).
So, this week, my encouragement to you is to not lose heart or hope, but to continue to press in as you seek the Lord for His intervention in our great nation.
The Lord Jesus bless you this week!
On behalf of the leadership teams of
Advent Episcopal Church & The Praise Community