We live in a fallen world. Life can be tough.
Often when we face sickness, financial problems, or uncomfortable situations, we will send up an SOS prayer to God, hoping for him to intervene. But if the storm persists, or when it is on the verge of collapse, or when your child has gone off the rails, or when the Doctors report says there is no more hope, we stop praying and give up.
At times like this, I want to encourage you to keep praying. Pray Until Something Happens.
There is something about persistent prayers.
I remember hearing of great men of God who would pray and pray until something happened. They would keep praying, persistently calling on God until he moved. If someone was sick or in need, they would set up prayer meetings and pray all night, if necessary, until God brought the breakthrough.
Jesus shared a story to illustrate that we should continue to PUSH, (Pray Until Something Happens)
In Luke 11:5-10 Jesus was teaching about prayer, and he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.”
Jesus continued, “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Be persistent. Keep on asking.
2 Chronicles 20, tells the story of Judah and King Jehoshaphat. The nation of Judah was under attack. Three powerful enemy nations declared war on Judah and a vast army was marching out against them. They were too powerful. Judah was not expecting this attack. They were in a hopeless situation.
The King was terrified by this news, but he started to pray. He looked to God for help. The King even gave orders for everyone in Judah to pray. The whole nation continued to PUSH. They Prayed Until Something Happened.
God gave this nation who was under attack a word through the prophet, “Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (2 Chronicles 20:15)
Judah prayed until they had direction from God. God gave King Jehoshaphat and the nation of Judah a direct word, that he would fight the impossible battle on their behalf. All they needed to do was trust God.
God told Judah that they were to march out against the enemy. He also told them that they would not need to fight. All they needed to do was take their positions, stand firm, and confront their fearful situation. And watch, for God would fight the battle on their behalf.
That night the nation praised God in advance for the victory he was about to give them, and early the next morning the army of Judah went out to the battlefield just as God had told them to do. They marched towards the battleground, lifting their voices in praise and worship to their God.
Something strange and powerful happened as Judah praised and worshipped God.
The moment they began to worship, God caused confusion in the enemy ranks. The three enemy nations began to fight each other. By the time Judah arrived at the battlefront, the enemy had wiped themselves out.
2 Chronicles 20:24 tells us that when Judah arrived at the battlefield, “all they saw were dead bodies lying on the ground as far as they could see. Not a single one of the enemy had escaped.”
God had fought the impossible battle on His people’s behalf, just as He had promised. THE BATTLE BELONGS TO THE LORD. God won the battle. Judah did not have to fight.
King Jehoshaphat and Judah Prayed Until Something Happened.
But when God spoke, they acted. They obeyed God and did what he called them to do.
Judah did not give in. They PUSHed through. God didn’t just protect his people and win an impossible war. Instead of this nation being destroyed, they were delivered. They were even blessed with vast amounts of equipment, clothing, and other valuables—more than they could carry. There was so much plunder that it took them three days just to collect it all. The whole nation praised God. And the surrounding nations had a new respect for Judah because they knew God was with them. “King Jehoshaphat’s kingdom was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.” (2 Chronicles 20:29-30)
When you face a devastating situation, don’t stop praying.
How desperate are you for an answer to prayer? Cry out to God. Keep asking. PUSH.
Remember what Jesus told us to do:
“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” (Luke 11:9)
In Acts 12 it tells us how the believers in the early church began to be persecuted for sharing the Good News of Jesus.
James (John’s brother) had been murdered because of his faith in Jesus. Shortly after this, Peter was arrested and thrown in prison. In the jail, he was placed under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each, with the intention to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover.
But Acts 12:5 tells us that “while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him.”
The church didn’t just pray a short prayer. They prayed earnestly. They were prepared to PUSH.
While Peter was in jail, the church prayed persistently.
Acts 12:6 tells us, “The night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. Others stood guard at the prison gate.”
Under heavy guard, as the church PUSHed, God did something miraculous.
Acts 12 continues, “Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said, “Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists. Then the angel told him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And he did. “Now put on your coat and follow me,” the angel ordered. So Peter left the cell, following the angel. But all the time he thought it was a vision. He didn’t realize it was actually happening. They passed the first and second guard posts and came to the iron gate leading to the city, and this opened for them all by itself. So they passed through and started walking down the street, and then the angel suddenly left him.” (Acts 12:7-10)
Under heavy arrest, God unlocked the shackles. He opened the gates. He delivered Peter. He set Peter free, as the church continued to pray.
Acts 12 tells us, “Peter finally came to his senses. “It’s really true!” he said. “The Lord has sent his angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leaders had planned to do to me!” (Acts 12:10)
Now see this. Acts 12 says, “When he realized this, he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many were gathered for prayer. He knocked at the door in the gate, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to open it. When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the door, she ran back inside and told everyone, “Peter is standing at the door!” “You’re out of your mind!” they said. When she insisted, they decided, “It must be his angel.” Meanwhile, Peter continued knocking. When they finally opened the door and saw him, they were amazed. He motioned for them to quiet down and told them how the Lord had led him out of prison. Tell James and the other brothers what happened,” he said. And then he went to another place.” (Acts 12:12-17)
The church Prayed Until Something Happened. Only when Peter knocked on the door where the prayer meeting was happening, did the church stop praying.
God led Peter out of danger and onto safety.
No matter what your situation looks like or how dire your situation looks, keep PUSHING. Keep praying. Be persistent until God answers or shows up.
I heard of a testimony about a young girl named Mary who had consumption. This was a bacterial disease like TB that affected the lungs and caused serious infections that often led to death. In fact, seven of her family members had already died of consumption. She was the last of the family. At the age of twenty, the disease struck her. She was engaged to be married, but day by day she withered away, just as the other members of her family had done.
A friend came to her and said, “Mary, let us pray.” For nine days Mary and her friend prayed for healing. They continued to PUSH. These two women prayed and continued to look to Jesus to bring healing and restoration.
For nine days they persisted in prayer, waiting on God to do a mighty work and raise Mary up.
This dear prayer warrior told Mary, “When the Lord heals you, get up and come to my house.” On the ninth morning, when the time was complete and Mary did not appear at the friend’s house, she got troubled and started down to see about it; and on the road, she met her coming. God came through. After they had prayed for nine days, God showed up and brought Mary complete healing.
Keep praying. Be persistent. Pray Until Something Happens.
Jesus told us the story of the persistent widow in Luke 18:1-8, “One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. “There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people. A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ The judge ignored her for a while, but finally, he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’” Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”
Keep praying. Call on Jesus day and night. In this story, Jesus shows that God will answer persistent prayers.
I heard a story of another lady who was dying of cancer. The doctor’s report showed there was nothing else they could do. As a last resort, with no hope from the doctors, a group of believers decided to pray. The Pastor came over and he prayed for a long time. He knelt in reverence at the foot of the bed and prayed and prayed, but there was no evidence of any healing. The Pastor called on another Pastor to come and pray. They continued to PUSH. They persisted in prayer. As they continued in prayer, the power of God fell on the woman. The cancer withered, and the woman was healed. They basically Prayed Until Something Happened. They prayed until this lady experienced a miracle. God delivered this sick lady and healed her.
No matter what you are facing, I need to encourage you to Pray Until Something Happens.
In Matthew 7:7-8, Jesus told us, “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Have you asked God for help?
Jesus went on and said, “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” (Matthew 7:9-11)
God is able to do the impossible. He can make a way even when there seems to be no way. God wants to be part of every area of your life. He wants you to bother him with your problems. He wants to do life with you.
God can even more mountains.
In Mark 11:22-25 Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”
God can move mountains. Do not doubt! Put your faith and confidence in our great God.
PUSH. Pray Until Something Happens. Be persistent. Wait on God until he intervenes.
God can move your mountain. He can make a way. God is our supernatural provider. He is our deliverer. He is our healer. He can break the chains. He can open up doors of opportunity. He gives direction.
Pray Until Something Happens.
Jesus says, “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” (Luke 11:9)
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