HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div
If your son asks you just once for an electronic game—then seemingly forgets about it and never brings the subject up again, how deep was his desire for it? How much do you think he would appreciate it if he did get one? And so it is when we ask for something from our heavenly Father. Before He supernaturally intervenes, God wants to know that we deeply desire whatever we ask for and that we will respect and worship Him for answering our prayer.
In other words, God uses our need or desire as a “vehicle” to draw us closer to Him spiritually—to cause us to focus on His will and on what is really best for us and for any others who might be involved. If we carelessly ask for something, and then virtually forget that we ever did, what would that indicate? It might tell God that we are not all that interested in His doing what we ask! Or it could be that all our desires are shallow, perhaps constantly changing and that we would not feel a deep sense of appreciation and worship even if He constantly answered such shallow prayers!
Perhaps you are familiar with Jesus’ parable of the “unjust judge” (Luke 18:1–8). This is the story of a certain widow who kept coming and kept coming to the “unjust” judge until he finally said: “Because this woman troubles me I will avenge her [thus honouring her request], lest by her continual coming she weary me” (v. 5). Then Jesus said: “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?” (vs 6–7). When you have a really deep desire for something, you should cry out to God day and night—never giving up. (In other words, pray until something happens).
God wants us to be persistent. He wants us to walk with Him, talk with Him and commune with Him continually—day after day in this age, and ultimately throughout eternity! The Apostle Paul instructs us to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
The true Church is pictured as the affianced bride of Christ. We need to spend a lot of time with Him and with the Father to become deeply acquainted. Remember, what we do in this life prepares us to spend eternity together with these divine Personalities. This is a real relationship and, as with any other, it must be developed over time.
So learn to pray regularly to God—spending enough time in prayer to become genuinely “acquainted” with Him. He is the One in whom “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). According to the Scriptures, Jesus often rose early in the morning and spent long, uninterrupted time praying to His Father (Mark 1:35).
The prophet Daniel rose to be one of the highest rulers of the greatest empire of his time—the Babylonian Empire. Nevertheless, he constantly took time to pray to God on his knees—three times each day (Daniel 6:10). This relationship with the Eternal God was so important to Daniel that He finally risked death in order to continue this vital part of His spiritual life (vs 5–10)!
King David also customarily prayed three times each day to his Creator: “As for me, I will call upon God, and the Lord shall save me. Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice” (Psalm 55:16–17).
So pray regularly. Spend plenty of time communing with Jesus Christ and your Heavenly Father. And never—ever—stop praying to God! For, in more ways than one, your very life depends upon this contact!
I want to thank God for another year of a successful prayer and fasting. I can assure you that our prayers were heard and we may not receive all that we asked for, but the answers are on the way back to us. It was after twenty and one days before Daniel got the relief from heaven. Today we are looking forward to this day when the windows of heaven will be open and the outpouring of blessings from heaven in answer to our prayers.
Thank you, God, for your grace and love towards us.