What do You Want? Why God Requires our Persistence in Prayer
A while back, I read an article entitled "Why Does God Require Persistence in Prayer?" Luke 18 tells the story of the Persistent Widow. Basically, the story goes like this. In a city far far away, lived a judge. He didn't care. Not about people and certainly not about God. The widow bangs down the judges door demanding justice against her enemy. She won't leave him alone. She is unrelenting. And at the end of the day, the judge grants her request. Not because he cares, just because he wants her to shut up. The lesson that God wants us to learn from this is that if even an unjust man like the judge will grant justice due to a widow's persistence, how much more will our just and holy God grant us justice as we cry out to Him? The Lord values our persistence. But why? Doesn't God already know what we need? In the article, the author puts it like this: "If we always got exactly what we wanted the first time we asked, we would inevitably begin to treat God as our genie, only summoned forth to give us our heart's desires. But that is precisely what prayer calls into question: What do you really want?"
As I have grown in my faith, my prayers have changed alot. Overtime, I have developed one simple prayer that trumps every other prayer: Lord, I just want what you want for me. I pray for alot of things. Some of it may fall in line with God's will for me and some of it may not, but I always throw that one prayer into the mix. God, at the end of the day I want your will for me. Do what it takes to make that happen.
This has led to some frustrating situations. Things have rarely gone according to the way I wanted them to go. I have been hurt by some situations and let down. But looking back I realize that in all of those situations, God protected me from a greater hurt. He allowed me to experience some pain and discomfort for the sake of my own safety and my own protection. Although at times I have felt that my prayers have gone unanswered, I realize now that God was simply answering my number one prayer: God, I want what you want for me.
This is what persistence in prayer draws us to. It draws out of us the true motives of our hearts. What is it you really want? Does your desire for relationship with God outweigh your desire for the thing you are asking for? Have you surrendered your heart to His will and His purposes? As we persist in prayer, God takes our heart in His hands and transforms our desires until they become one with His.
You can check out the article here: http://pacificcrossroads.org/why-does-god-require-persistence-in-prayer/