PERSEVERANCE IN PRAYER & FAITH

By Stephen Powell

Some of the greatest feats in history have been accomplished not by men or women who were perfect, not by people who were flawless in their execution, but by people who refused to give up. Their perseverance was perfect. In this written work, I wish to discuss this crucial component for the purpose-filled life and the overcoming saint who does great things for God.

(Lk.18:1-8)
1 "And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of Man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?"

 

PURSUING THE PROMISE IN HIS NAME

Jesus told this story for this purpose: that men and women around the globe, for generations to come, would be inspired from the lips of the Master Himself to never give up, to persevere in prayer, in faith, in belief, and in hope, knowing that the answer is sure in God when you're pursuing a promise in His name. This is a key point for perseverance: pursuing a promise in His name.

In the world, there is a measure of glory within all created beings, but men and women are made in the image and likeness of God with even more of His glory, because God's glory always issues to everything He creates. Therefore, with this glory from God, people can do incredible things without a word from the Lord. But succeeding outside of the purpose and will of God is dangerous. There are plenty of people who are successful in man's eyes, who have done amazing things, even to the betterment of mankind and the furthering of civilization. However, many of them are miserable because in all of their doing, they haven't found the pearl of great price: they still haven't discovered the kingdom through King Jesus.  Therefore, ultimately they are empty, having lives full of meaningless exploits because no one led them to Christ.

But the man or woman of God who exercises their creative glory in serving God, to pursue His will, to walk with Him on the path which His word has lit, will be the person who is full of purpose at all times. They will not only embrace the reward at hand, but the eternal reward that has no expiration, that cannot fade with a fortune mishandled by generational "apples" who fall far from the tree, namely a family inheritance that has been squandered.

So in teaching success, accomplishment, and breakthrough living, we don't deny the accomplishments of others who don't know Christ. We know that, even if they don't render honor to Him, they can accomplish these things because of their origins in the glory of God, which He shared with Adam and Eve at man's creation. Ultimately, the glory still won't go to them! Even that is the result of grace, even if the vessel continues to cling to a reprobate identity.

The man or woman of God who filters their ambitions through the written Word of God, the revealed will of God, and nurtures their relationship with God through intimacy with the Holy Spirit, will do the great things with lasting meaning.  This is the fruit of building with God according to His desire. Persist, breakthrough, do great things in this world, but do it in and unto Christ, and you will go farther than any atheist billionaire ever could.

 

FAITH, PRAYER, & PERSEVERANCE

The man or woman who has a prayer, a heart-cry within that keeps coming out, is a man or woman pregnant with promise. That promise comes from a word from God, which produces the faith to go after the thing promised, having assurance of the answer before one syllable is uttered in prayer. That faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word (Rom.10:17). Everything that man obtains and accomplishes in the kingdom of God starts with the seed of God's word sown into the human heart. Whether it comes by inspiration, a mental picture, the reading of Scripture, or simply a conversation shared with a friend whose words spark something within, it's all traced back to the work of the Holy Spirit. He administers the seed of God's Rhema word to guide your path and get you headed toward breakthrough and creativity in His kingdom. God's word is still creating through His creation! It truly is the living word!

How did the persistent widow know that she would breakthrough with the judge as she kept persistently, pleading for justice? She was operating in faith. She had a seed of promise. Something fueled her on in the face of certain failure from the perspective of man, for the judge in this story feared neither God nor man, and did not ultimately care about justice. But the Bible says that the heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord, and the Lord turns it as a river wherever He pleases (Prov.21:1). The judge's personal position was of no consequence in light of the fact that He was under a higher authority; his bench was under the bema seat, the judgement seat, of Christ.

Faith-fueled passionate prayer always looks foolish to outside people who are not touching the same substance and fuel of faith that the prayer warrior is touching. But the assurance is real, the word is not a lie, and the answer will come, because that which is born of God overcomes every obstacle. However, the vessel, the person, carrying the promise must heed the Word of the Master: pray and do not faint. Be persistent in your prayer & your faith!

Jesus is looking for this kind of faith today. He says here, "when the son of man comes will he find faith on the earth?" (Lk.18:8). People have become weary talking about His second coming. People are fainting spiritually as they consider beliefs about the end-times drawn from Scripture. People are tired of hearing these things, because teachers in the body have been saying them for generations now, and the people are becoming spiritually fatigued. It's giving rise to new ways of interpreting Scripture, new trends which feel fresh and full of life, but which actually embody the failure to which Jesus alluded in this story: people are losing faith and growing weary while clinging to the promise of His return. The enemy is giving them substitute belief-systems that satisfy their flesh, but attack the fundamentals of the Christian faith. But we must be persistent, saints. We must press on. We must not lose hope, or lose faith, or grow weary in waiting, for our King will come. He will come in response to the heart cry of His bride and the cry of the Jewish people as well! Listen to John G. Lake's words, spoken about the connection between the second coming of Christ and persistent desperate prayer:

"The more I study history and prophecy, the more I am convinced that when Jesus Christ was born into the world, He was born in answer to a tremendous heart-cry on the part of the world. The world needed God desperately. They wanted a manifestation of God tremendously, and Jesus Christ as Deliverer and Saviour came in answer to their soul's cry. Many look forward to the second coming of Jesus as though mechanically, on a certain date, when certain events come to pass, Jesus is going to appear. I do not see it that way. I believe there must be an overwhelming hunger for the Lord's coming in the hearts of men, so that a prayer such as was never prayed in the world before, for Christ to come, will rise to heaven. And when it rises to heaven on the part of sufficient souls, it will take Jesus Christ off the throne and bring Him down to earth." (1)

I fear the cry of desperation will come through great persecution and tribulation in the earth, but in any case, let us not be found with empty lamps, not having our wicks trimmed, when the Master returns. Let us not be found as foolish virgins not ready for the Day. Let us stay fervent in prayer, expectant in hope, zealous for the good works of the Gospel, bringing in the harvest while there is still time. Let us not faint and grow weary in our well doing, in our faith, and in our hope that the Master will indeed return!
 

DRAWING INSPIRATION FROM HISTORICAL ACCOUNTS OF
PERSERVERANCE

A very successful man in his field was once asked how he was able to do the things he did. His answer shocked the person who asked. He said his secret was that he failed more than anyone else. The reason why he failed more than anyone is because he tried more than everyone, and ultimately the greatest trait successful people carry is tenacity, and this includes prayer warriors. They never give up.

We've heard it said that it's not about how many times you fall down, but about how many times you get back up, and this is true. When Thomas Edison was asked about how many failed attempts it took to create his lightbulb, he boldly replied, "I haven't failed. I just found 10,000 ways it won't work" (2). Successful people always see their failure as redemptive. Prayer warriors moving in faith don't see their time spent praying as a waste. They boldly declare that they're just one prayer closer to the manifestation of the promise!

John Quincy Adams spent the last fifteen years of his life battling the evil of slavery and fought in the U.S. House of Representatives to see it outlawed even after he had been President.  When he was asked how he kept going, after so many years of failure he said, "Results are God's business, duty is ours." He never saw slavery end in his life, but he mentored a young man before he died whom he felt was special. That young man was Abraham Lincoln, the President who ended slavery (3). Men and women of God who are fueled by the purpose of God in their exploits, never see lack of manifestation as failure, for in their faith they know that their prayers and actions will yield results, in their generation or the next, in time or in eternity. The answer is sure, because God initiated the asking!

Fight the good fight, saints. Never give up. Fail forward and don't be afraid of it. Learn to embrace the process. Eventually you'll have your breakthrough if your heart cry comes from God. To him who knocks, the door will open. To him who seeks, he will find. To him who asks, it shall be given (Matt.7:7). Trust in this saints! Perseverance in prayer & faith wins!

In His Service,
Stephen Powell


(1)Spiritual Hunger, by John G. Lake, pg.6
(2)https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/thomas_a_edison_132683
(3)David Barton, https://youtu.be/HhtkAO9PUE8

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