“So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees, and said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And seven times he said, “Go again.” (1 Kings 18:42-43 – NKJV)
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18 NKJV).
If we are to have a breakthrough over the tough issues of life, we must inevitably persevere in prayers. The Bible has many encouraging examples of perseverance in prayer that may motivate us.
Perseverance means “steadfastness and continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.” Oswald Chambers says, “Perseverance is more than endurance. It is endurance combined with absolute assurance and certainty that what we are looking for is going to happen. Perseverance means more than just hanging on.” Perseverance means not giving up on something. What do you have on your hands you are pursuing now, don’t give up on it. Don’t allow the ball to drop from your hands!
“Hanging on” in prayers seems to be old-fashioned to this present generation that is after instant and immediate results. In the past, intercessors believed in preserving and pressing deeper in the place of prayer. But that attitude is fast fading away among many Christians of today.
Jesus showed us an example of what perseverance means. Hebrew writes this, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2 NKJV).
And as regards prayers, Jesus showed the same endurance. “And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44 – NKJV). Thus, in Christ, we have an example of how to persevere.
Jacob demonstrated perseverance in prayer when he wrestled with God till the break of dawn. Even when the Angel of God touched and dislocated Jacob’s hip, he still held on. Again, when the Angel asked Jacob to let him go, Jacob insisted that he will not let him go until he blessed him. Eventually, the Angel of God blessed him. There comes a time when prayers require tenacity and doggedness.
“When the man saw that he would not win the match, he touched Jacob’s hip and wrenched it out of its socket. Then the man said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” “What is your name?” the man asked. He replied, “Jacob.” “Your name will no longer be Jacob,” the man told him. “From now on you will be called Israel, because you have fought with God and with men and have won.” (Genesis 32:25-28 NLT).
We are in a dire situation in our nation which calls for steadfastness in prayers. The state of insecurity is so alarming and has overwhelmed the security apparatus of the nation. The impending election poses challenges of a choice of good leadership, free and fair elections and a smooth transition to a new government. If we desire to birth a new nation, then the church must wake up and give attention to persevering prayers.