23rd June 2012

The Only Sensible Response – Steadfast In Prayer

“…continuing steadfastly in prayer;”
Romans 12:12 (NKJV)

Again we meet a word that is not in common use. According to Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary, steadfast means firmly fixed or established; firm, constant, resolute, steady. In the context of prayer we get the sense of not stopping or quitting, not changing, of being determined and certain.

When we consider what God has done for us, we must believe that he cares deeply for us as his children and would not ignore our prayers to him. And that is true–no prayer from his beloved children goes unheard. But not all prayers are answered immediately and not all prayers are answered with a yes. ‘No’ is also an answer.

But how can we know if the answer is no and thus to stop praying for something? Paul gives us a clue, notice in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9, “And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with Lord three times that it might depart from me. And he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Look at what Paul is saying; he says he continued to pray until he knew the prayer was not going to receive a positive answer. How God communicated this to Paul we do not know precisely, but Paul did, and when God says ‘no’ to us we will know also.

Now the ‘no’ may become apparent; time may run out on the request, any number of the circumstances may change, or one of many other indications. But until God tells us ‘no’ in one manner or another we should remain steadfast in prayer: we should never give up.

Thank you, Father in heaven, that you hear all of our prayers and that you answer them all. Help me to know that sometimes the answer is ‘no’ and to be confident that you are in charge and always do what is best for me.

Study by David Stirk


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