There are two good reasons to persist in prayer. And two not so good reasons. Let’s look at those not so good reasons. We do not have to nag God into answering our prayers. God is not waiting for us to fill a quota, to pray a certain number of times before he responds.
The other doubtful reason is that we might sense God has not heard us the first time. That we have to go on praying in order to get his attention. Pandemics and crises in the Middle East and political corruption are keeping him so busy that we have to persist in order to get him to focus on us. Praise God that he is not like that.
But persistence is good for other reasons. One is that all prayer expresses our dependence on God. Going on praying is how I show that I can’t fix this problem or sort out that person on my own. I need God’s wisdom and power and prayer is my way of telling both him and myself that very thing.
I also persist out of sheer concern. I pray regularly for those I love not because God hasn’t heard me the first time or that I have to nag him into answering. I pray because such people are on my heart and praying for them is a natural expression of love and concern for them. I pray in this way not to inform God or to pressure him into doing something. I pray out of heartfelt love.
So by all means persist, but let’s get it clear why and how we are persisting.