Power in Persistent Prayer- Sarah Buckland
If you are a ministry leader, family person, student, business professional, or all these combined, chances are you have had moments, where you feel like all the weight of the world, has collapsed on your shoulder. I know I have. Reeling confusion between chores, family obligations, and ministry expectations is enough to have most of us perpetually pinned at the ‘E’ level on the dial. But, still, the work must go on. Added to the physical constraints of daily life, those of us who are spiritually minded may have faced the all-to-familiar spiritual attacks. Sometimes we may wish that we could just have Jesus beside us in the flesh to explain a miracle cure to the confusion of 21st-century life.
I write to you today to confirm that, although we may not have the privilege to sit at Jesus’ feet as Mary did literally, the Word of God has outlined important keys that can help us navigate. One of the most effective keys I have learned is being persistent in prayer. Romans 12:12 says it best: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Sharing from my personal experience in Christian ministry, doing outreach for nearly 20 years, I have seen the gloomy side of ministry, but I have also witnessed the incredible power of prayer. In this article, I will share 3 practical keys that persistence in prayer provides to lift our burdens on a daily basis.
1) Key #1: Persistence in prayer builds endurance
If there is one key ingredient to success, whether, in business, ministry, family, or relationships, it is enduring through the difficult times. Having completed a dissertation for my Ph.D. in Geography, I can attest that the process was most potently a test of endurance, far more than anything else. I endured hard drive failures, mysteriously disappearing diagrams, and even had to reframe all chapters from my entire 80,000+ word document to coincide with a new theory, because the one I began with was outdated! One could have all the intelligence in the world, but it would not cut it. Learning the history of scientific discovery, I have also learned that the greatest minds in history, such as Benjamin Franklin, did not have success after trying once, nor twice, nor at times, even 100 times. However, the failures were not for nothing.
These experiences have taught me that sometimes, God allows failure and frustration to build us up. Just like an athlete has to undergo much pain, and muscle strain before they are able to have the endurance to win when it really matters. In the Christian context, applying this to the frustrations of daily life, not hearing the answers we seek God for immediately, does not mean He is not listening. The time will come when we will see God’s Will manifest – if we just endure.
2) Key #2: Persistence in prayer builds faith
Another beauty of prayer is the personal interaction we have to seek the Face of the Creator of the entire universe. If we think about it, repeatedly seeking God enables us to spend more time with Him and allows us to grow spiritually. This communication inherently shows that we acknowledge the reality of God, and His concern for us in this present age, rather than having a ‘static’ view of Christianity. On a personal level, I have formed the habit of noting my prayers in a diary, then noting my answers to prayer. After having hundreds of prayers recorded, and answers, I now have a resource to look to my darkest times – which is all about my own spiritual journey. These experiences over time, boost faith and confidence when we face our next life challenge.
3) Key #3: Persistence in prayer builds resilient character
Continuing to seek God’s face even when things seem impossible around us is a truly powerful act. When others around us have lost all hope, engaging in prayer brings strength to our character, even when persons believe our situation is hopeless. Faithfulness in prayer also facilitates humility. It shows our dependence on God, and His Infinite strength, instead of our own limited power. I can personally attest that spending time in prayer through trials has saved both my sanity and rectified the situation, even when the answer was different from what I expected. Now, by the grace of God, prayer as a weapon has helped me to not feel helpless. This has given me a resilient outlook, even when the mountains appear to be falling on my head.
In conclusion, persistence in prayer is a secret weapon that helps to lighten the loads we carry as humans on a daily basis. Isn’t it wonderful to know that we have a God who not only cares for the birds but cares even more for us!
Meditation and Prayer:
Meditation: Think of a time when you had a trying situation, that God helped you to get out of after prayer. If you like to write, note it down in a journal, or if you prefer to speak, you may consider recording your experience. Years from now, it may just come in handy to give you encouragement and courage to press on!
Prayer: “Lord, give us the faith in You to be faithful in prayer. Help us to trust Your Will for us, and keep seeking Your throne, even when we do not see the answer immediately. We thank You for Your faithfulness. We know that NOTHING is too difficult for You. Keep us safe and direct our lives. We love You, Lord. In Jesus’ Holy Name, Amen.”
Sarah Buckland is an award-winning, freelance Jamaican Christian author and writer with experience spanning technical and creative genres. She is an only child, a preacher’s daughter, and has been a Christian for over 19 years. Sarah is also a Spanish language enthusiast, nature-lover, and a doctoral student in Geography. Sarah’s drive for Christian advocacy has led her to produce her own ministry series (God’s GLOW web show) aimed at reaching youth with Bible.
Over a dozen of Sarah’s articles have been published in Jamaica, Trinidad, and Guyana.