Have you ever felt like quitting? Have there been moments in your life when it seemed that all the effort and energies you were investing in something made no difference? Maybe you feel this way right now. It’s as though your life, career, finances or marriage is stuck like a tire in mud. No matter how hard you press the accelerator, you never get traction — you never make any significant progress.
Times like these are frustrating. They drain our hope and weary our spirit and soul. And if we’re not careful, they can drive us to the point of giving up.
Jesus had something to say about one of the things that causes this kind of frustration, hopelessness and weariness of heart. He addressed the issue of giving up on our prayers.
There are periods when it appears that all of our prayers about something or for someone are not making a difference. From all outward signs it looks like God is ignoring our cries and requests. The energy we’re pouring into prayer seems to be wasted and useless. Nothing is moving forward and changes are not happening, in spite of all our intercession.
When situations in life seem stuck, and our prayers feel fruitless, we’re tempted to give up — we’re tempted to quit praying. When this temptation comes our way, we need to be reminded of a teaching Jesus gave. Knowing there’d be seasons like this for all of us, Jesus provided us with specific instructions about how to handle them:
“One day Jesus told His disciples a story to show them that they should always pray and never give up.” — Luke 18:1 (NLT)
Without going into the particular story Jesus used, it’s helpful and important to focus on the lesson Jesus wanted to get across to us. His point was for us to never give up the practice of prayer and to never give up hope for answers to our prayers. Understanding that we would be tempted by what appeared to be lack of progress or answers in response to our prayers, Jesus said , “Keep on praying!”
The Greek term Jesus used for the phrase “never give up” is very descriptive and powerful. It means, “to refuse to become a coward; to not lose one’s courage; to not grow faint or despondent; to not lose one’s heart or soul in a matter; to refuse to let weariness win; to not quit.”
What situations are you praying about that seem to stay the same? Who have you been praying for without any apparent results? What are you asking God to do for you that hasn’t yet happened?
Don’t quit praying! The delay is not a denial. God may want you to adjust your prayers, change some attitudes or address some issues in your life, or simply wait patiently for His timing, but one thing He doesn’t want you to do is to quit praying!