Today I want to share with you about “As long as it takes” prayers.
Pastor Mark Batterson has written about how we need to stop praying ASAP (as soon as possible) prayers, and instead start praying ALAIT (as long as it takes) prayers. Past generations of Christians used to call this “praying through,” meaning to keep praying until you get an answer. This is biblical.
There's nothing wrong with asking God to help ASAP (David prayed this way all the time in the Psalms). There is a clear precedent from Scripture that God not only works through our prayers, but He is also works on us as we pray - and this often means it takes time, patience and persistence to see the answer come through.
The book of Daniel contains a powerful illustration of Daniel praying and fasting for 3 weeks, until an answer is given. The angel of the Lord tells him that as soon as Daniel started to pray, the answer had been given from heaven, but there was a war in the heavenlies that caused it to take longer to arrive. We often have no clue how much God is at work through our prayers!
Jesus taught us to pray as long as it takes. In Luke 18, Jesus tells his disciples a story "To show them that they should always pray and not give up." He goes on to explain the power of persistent prayer. God want us to always pray, and not give up! Is there a prayer you've been praying, that you've recently given up hope on? Keep on praying! Jesus wants you to. He wouldn't have given us this story if he didn't.
We often want instant results from God, but God also wants to teach us patience and endurance. Patience and endurance mature and deepen our faith in important ways.
Some things must be prayed about over a period of years. Never lose faith that God can and will move on your behalf.
Pause and pray:
Think of a prayer you gave up on long ago, and begin to pray for it again.