"And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" - Luke 18: 1-9 KJV
Jesus clearly admitted here that God may bear long with the saints in prayers. He may bear long for a while but He won't bear long for life, 'for surely there is an end and the expectation of the righteous shall not be cut off'!
So in prayers, the performance of his hands may require perseverance from our heart! We need to persevere until he interferes and intervene in our situation!
Persistence in prayers wears off the strength of the enemy! Of Daniel it was said that from the first day he set his heart to pray God heard but the prince of Persia withstood him! But as he prayed spiritual re enforcement came and his breakthrough was enforced!
"Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days."(Daniel 10:12-14 KJV)
Persistence in prayers wear off the opposition, but build up your own strength, because those that wait upon the lord will renew their strength!(Isaiah 40:29-31)
This is one of the reasons why Paul admonished us to pray without ceasing in 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
One woman that epitomises this principle of persistence was the woman Anna, who like Simeon waited for the coming of the Lord and prays day and night for it! The Bible records she served God "in prayers and fasting" on the same prayer point! And to crown it all, it wasn't a personal prayer point as such, but for God to fulfil his plan of redemption to mankind! What tenacity in prayer!
"And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day .And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem." Luke 2:36-38 KJV
Continuity in prayers implies to persevere on an issue you are praying about until you see answer, because sometimes God responds to our prayers in three ways:
- there are prayers that God answers immediately
- the ones he answers progressively
- the ones he answers eventually!
He has the prerogative to decide that which he does per time! Our continuity helps us to develop the spiritual maturity that makes us to "stand" having done all and wait to see the desires of our soul!
Continuity in prayer also implies that prayer is not a seasonal experience for us when we have problems, a spiritual go to ATM we press to receive 'downloads' only when we are in dire need, but a lifestyle we have cultivated daily!
Like the Apostles pointed out in Acts 6:4, 'we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word'. For the Apostle, prayer was a lifestyle! Both in season and out of season, the Apostles prayed and developed spiritual capacity and tenacity that made them a worthy carrier of the move of God.