“Pray without ceasing.”
(2 Thess. 5:17)
One expert says that most criminals on death row usually sleep soundly the night before an execution. They probably figure that there is nothing else to be done anyways. Is that your disposition in times of trouble? Do you just sleep off, unable to discern the urgency of a matter? That was the disposition of the three disciples whom Jesus took to pray with him just before he was arrested.
Mat 26:40, 41 says: “And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” It is interesting that Peter’s name is specifically mentioned here. He was the same man who would deny Jesus just a few hours after this incident.
Perseverance in prayer cannot be overemphasized. If you’ve not learnt perseverance, you’ve not learnt to pray. Col 4:2 says: “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.”
In Luk 18:1, Jesus gave a parable that taught that men ought always to pray, and not to faint. He talked about a woman who kept on bringing her case to an unrighteous judge who finally had no choice but to listen to her because of her consistency. If consistency could sway an unrighteous judge, imagine the answers you would get from your loving father when you stay in the place of prayer.
The purpose of prayer also goes beyond what it does for you to what it does in you. The man who stays in the place of prayer develops the spiritual discipline necessary to put his body under subjection. He becomes more and more attuned to the things of the spirit.
Brother, sister, learn not to lose heart. Don’t run out of gas too early, persevere! Ephesians 6:18 says: “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” Pray without ceasing.