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The Bible teaches that we are to persist in prayer and never give up when we are asking God’s will to be done in our life. Matthew 7:5-10 reports that Jesus offered this comment about prayer:

Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need. Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

The reason why we are to be persistent is given in Luke 18. In the Parable of the Persistent Widow (Luke 18:1-8), we are instructed as follows:

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

It’s important to remember that God is not the “Heavenly Vending Machine”. God will answer in His way in His time. He may require that we keep praying over a period of time. He may be waiting for a given set of circumstances to occur. God may decide that while your request is certainly valid, it must wait for reasons known only to Him. You are not the center of the universe, as hard as that might be to be believed. We are to walk in faith and submission, and know that God will answer in His way, in His time. God’s timing is always perfectly correct. Just because your prayer didn’t get answered NOW does mean that God is saying “NO”! More than likely, it is not the right time yet.

“PUSH” is a popular acronym when it comes to prayer: “Pray Until Something Happens!” Keep praying. if it’s His will, it will happen - in His way, in His time.

Rev. Dr. N. Patrick Marica contributes incisive Christian commentary on this blog on a regular basis. He is the Vice-Chancellor of Amherst Theological Seminary, and he has a D. Min. from Amherst Theological Seminary. He has his MA from Liberty University in Marriage and Family Therapy. He is the author of the book: "The Walk Applied: Living the New Creation Life as a Citizen of God's Kingdom in a Secular World". He has also written "The Fasting and Prayer Handbook". He has been married to Kathy since 1985. They have 2 adult daughters and an adult son.

Contact Dr. Marica at

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