August 21, 2017

Praying Through

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Several years ago, the church I was a part of held a multi-day prayer summit with a guest facilitator named Gerhard Du Toit. One phrase that Gerhard used repeatedly throughout the summit was, “Praying through.” In general, what Gerhard was conveying is that the more deeply we live for the cause of Christ, the more we can expect resistance – including in our prayer life – and the more imperative it becomes to “pray through” the resistance.

Resistance in prayer may be self-induced (a product of our sinful nature) and often takes the form of fatigue, distraction, or doubt. Resistance may also be at times demonic, given that Satan will do all he can to try to disconnect us from Christ, since apart from Christ we can do nothing (John 15:5). Whatever the source of resistance may be, you can count on the fact that if you are serious about prayer, you will face ongoing resistance, and in a variety of forms.

Someday soon – maybe even today – you will wake up feeling more tired than usual, and find it difficult to stay focused while praying. And you will need to decide whether to give up, or whether to pray through trusting that the Holy Spirit will intercede on your behalf (Romans 8:26-27).

In the not too distant future – maybe even right now – you will experience a dry season, when your prayers seem to be ignored, falling on deaf ears. Will you give up? Or will you pray through, believing that the God who invites us to approach His throne (Hebrews 4:16) is the same God who answers our prayers according to His will and timing (1 John 5:14-15)?

Perhaps you have been praying for a particular person to place his or her faith in Jesus Christ. Maybe you’ve been praying for that person for a long, long time, seemingly without success. Is it time to give up? Or will you pray through, believing that God desires for all people to be saved (2 Peter 3:9)?

A final thought: Most likely, you are familiar with the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18. But have you considered why Jesus told this parable? It seems that the answer to this question is so important that Luke was compelled to give it to us before going into the parable itself:

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” (Luke 18:1)

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