Act 18: Persist

You’ve been praying. Hard. But you’re tempted to give up. Instead, push in. Rally yourself to pray gutsy prayers. What if today’s the day when your sixth lap of Jericho turns into a seventh, and the walls come down?

 

 Choose how you’ll complete today’s act:

Green:

Know anyone who’s been persistent in prayer? Let them know you’re praying with them, especially, this week.

Amber:
Be willing to share disappointments – maybe an unanswered prayer, or a personal failure. Can you share your story with someone currently journeying through disappointment?

Red:

Is there something your church community cares passionately about – justice, the poor, a neighbourhood no one’s reaching – but isn’t doing anything for, yet? Be the catalyst. Set up a prayer meeting, or a prayer WhatsApp group.

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“Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.”

(James 5:17–18 NIV)
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Your thought for today:

Ever feel like you’re shouting into the darkness?

Give me victory over this struggle. Take me out of this situation.

Please, Lord, help. Please, Lord, hear.

You pray and you pray and you pray. But the situation doesn’t change. And the sadness remains.

I’ve been a Christian since I was a child; and that’s when I started praying for my loved ones to know Jesus. Today I’m a mother myself – and I’ve yet to see them come to faith. So why bother? Why keep going?

Here’s why: the Lord loves my family more than I do. He hears me and He cares. He will help me – but in His time, not in mine.

Think back to the Israelites, enslaved in Egypt. They cried out to God, and He rescued them. But it didn’t happen overnight.

Some prayed to be led out of Egypt; and saw their tyranny increased.

Some prayed for a promised land, but saw only desert.

Yet still, they prayed. They trusted that God would hear them, and He did.

‘The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them…”’ (Exodus 3:7–8 NIV)

God helped the Israelites, but not in their time and not as they had expected. Instead of lifting them out of the desert, He came down and joined them in it. When they were watching and waiting, He was doing the deepest work of changing their hearts (Deuteronomy 8:3).

This God is the same God today. He hears our prayers, just as He heard the prayers of the Israelites. And He answers in the same way. Not by beaming us up out of trouble. But by joining us in the furnace.

So, whatever we are facing, however long we’ve been praying, let’s keep going. God hears us. God is concerned for us. God came down to join us, and He will lead us out.


Written by Emma Scrivener
Emma Scrivener was born in Belfast, but now lives with her husband and daughter in the south-east of England. She is the author of several books, including A New Name and A New Day (IVP). She blogs about identity, faith and mental health at emmascrivener.net


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