Keep Knocking, Keep Praying Relentlessly

Prayer – it’s filled with energy, power, and mystery. We are told to “pray without ceasing,” yet we are also told that God knows what we need before we ask.  We are encouraged to pray bold prayers, believing God will answer. Yet elsewhere we are told to be silent before the Lord, as well as offering praise and thanksgiving. Prayer can sometimes be confusing and at times, it seems almost contradictory.

Do I pray without ceasing and never stop asking God until the answer comes? These scriptures would suggest that: Romans 12:12, I Thess. 5:16-18, “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” Col 4:2.

We are also admonished to believe the answer will come. “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” Matthew 21:22  “Do not be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!” Matthew 6:8

If He already knows, does that cancel out the “pray fervently” thing? Why must I ask if he can clearly see what I need? Should I knock once, ask and then wait? Or, should I be like a small child who refuses to give up on you answering his pleas?

I listened to Pastor Anthony’s sermons from the Relentless series on YouTube this week, and then followed that up with a sermon by Jentezen Franklin called, “A Circle of Prayer.” Interesting how when God needs to drive a point home, he can perfectly orchestrate a series that fits together to speak his lesson loud and clear. Both of these sermons mentioned a book by Mark Batterson, “The Circle Maker,” which is now on my reading list. I don’t think it’s by accident that both these sermons came to me in the same day. The Father is molding and shaping me. He needs me to be diligent in my prayer life and grasp these life-changing concepts.

At 64 years old, God is still teaching me. He wants me to get this lesson, to understand that prayer changes me as well as what I pray for. Yes, He knows what I need, but the point in the asking is I am being taught discipline and obedience. With each prayer I am exercising my faith. I cannot always see how He is working, but my complete trust in Him expresses what I believe about His character and His promises.

Prayer also changes circumstances, lives, and perspective. Our minds are amazing. We remember details and events, but often our emotions determine the accuracy of those memories. Unfortunately, our perception is often clouded due to the past. The Holy Spirit leading through prayer is the key to changing our perspective and grasping the truths learned when talking with God.

In 1 Kings 18, Elijah’s servant goes seven times to look for a rain cloud. On the seventh trip he sees a cloud the size of a man’s hand in the distance. This one, tiny cloud bolstered Elijah’s faith to the size of a mountain! He prepared, he told King Ahab to prepare, and he prophesied that the drought would end based on a single, small cloud. I often need a sky full of clouds, WRAL weather confirmation, and the literal feel of raindrops as they begin to fall. What will it take for me to believe a seemingly insignificant cloud is a sign of a much bigger answer?

Prayer. Prayer will lead me to a place where I can fix my eyes on God. When I glimpse the tiny, insignificant clouds in my life, I pray I can see past the doubt to the flood of miracles they hold inside!

To sum up the truths I have learned about being relentless in my prayer life, and in all aspects of my spiritual walk, the most basic would be, to believe. I must believe God is who He says He is. I must believe He can and will do what He promised. I must trust His words as truth. I must walk in obedience and surrender. As I approach Him in prayer, I must open myself to the Holy Spirit’s leading and pursue Him with a relentless diligence, not stopping until I pray through and touch the heart of God.

Church family, let us be known for our unwavering beliefs, as we pray and expectantly wait for showers of blessings to fall from the tiniest of clouds.

SHERRIE SMITLEY |  Wife. Mom. Christ follower. Northpark family member. Friend.