Pray without ceasing, even when you don’t get the answer you want

YOUR MEDITATION FOR TODAY with Rev. Dr. Emmette Weir

Does God answer our prayers? What about when our prayers are cold, formal, routine? What about when we pray when we don’t feel like praying? Does God still hear and answer such prayers?

Questions such as these may assail even the most devout saint. I’m sure they have “crossed your mind” especially when your prayers were not answered as you wished. What do you think? Very significantly, the Rev. Dr. Charles Spurgeon, famed as a preacher and writer has something to say about these questions. So let me share with you what this great man of God has to say about the importance of persistence in prayer…despite not getting the answer you desire! Pray without ceasing.

“Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer.”
- Psalm 66:20, NRSV

On looking back upon the character of our prayers, if we do it honestly, we shall be filled with wonder that God has ever answered them. There may be some who think their prayers worthy of acceptance- as the Pharisee did; but the true Christian, in a more enlightened retrospect, weeps over his prayers, and if he could retrace his steps he would desire to pray more earnestly. Remember, Christian, how cold your prayers have been. When in your prayer room you should have wrestled as Jacob did; but instead thereof, your petitions have been faint and few- far removed from that humble, believing, preserving faith, which cries, “I will not let You go unless You bless me.”

Yet, wonderful to say, God has heard these cold prayers of yours, and not only heard, but answered them. Reflect also, how infrequent your prayers have been, unless you have been in trouble, and then you have gone often to the mercy seat: but when deliverance has come, where has your constant supplication been? Yet in spite of the fact that you have stopped praying as you once did, God has not ceased to bless. When you have neglected the mercy seat, God has not deserted it, but the bright light of the Shekinah has always been visible between the wings of the cherubim.

Oh! It is marvelous that the Lord should regard those intermittent spasms of insistent requests which come and go with our necessities. What a God is He, thus to hear the prayers of those who come to Him when they have received a mercy; who approach Him when they have received pressing wants, but neglect; who approach Him when they are forced to come, but who almost forget to address Him when they are forced to come, but who almost forget to address Him when mercies are plentiful and sorrows are few. Let His gracious kindness in hearing such prayers touch our hearts, so that we may henceforth be found to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”

Help us, Lord, to “pray without ceasing, in all the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of life.” This Christ we pray.

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