Persevere in Prayer!


By SD Prayer Coalition, published March 4, 2015 in Prayer Resources

Here is an article on prayer from author and retired pastor John Piper who is based out of the Minneapolis area via desiringgod.org. The article provides advice about ways we can each be mindful as we pray.

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving; and pray for us also, that God may open to us a door for the Word to declare the mystery of Christ . . . and make it clear as I ought to speak. (Colossians 4:2–4)

This text gives five guidelines for prayer that we need to hear just now.

First, “Continue steadfastly in prayer.” Please don’t give up the diligence that you showed during prayer week. There is so much power to be had in persevering prayer. Don’t forget the “importunate friend” of Luke 11:8 and don’t forget the parable Jesus told to the effect that “we ought always to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1–8). Perseverance is the great test of genuineness in the Christian life. I praise God that some of you have persevered in prayer 60, 70, or 80 years! O let us be a praying church, and let 1982 be saturated with prayers to the Lord of the harvest. Won’t it be great to say in the end, “I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7)?

Second, “Be watchful in your prayers.” This means, be alert! Be mentally awake! Paul probably learned this from the story of what happened in Gethsemane. Jesus asked the disciples to pray, but found them sleeping. So he said to Peter, “Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation” (Mark 14:37). We must be on the watch as we pray—on the watch against a wandering mind, against vain repetitions, against trite and meaningless expressions, against limited, selfish desires. And we should also watch for what is good. We should especially be alert to God’s guidance of our prayers in Scripture. It is God who works in us to will our prayers but we always experience this divine enablement as our own resolve and decision.

Read the rest of John Piper’s guidelines for prayer at desiringgod.org. The last couple of items addresses how we can pray for our pastors as they lead the church we attend. It is important that we pray for our pastors and that God would speak His truth through the messages they preach each Sunday, Saturday, or whenever your church meets for services.

http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/persevere-in-prayer

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
— 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV) —

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