I always say that anyone who hasn’t learned to persevere in the place of prayer has not really learned to pray. Like every other discipline, spiritual growth must be exercised. If you will grow as a Christian, you must be able to stay in the place of prayer and not run out of gas.
You will not always feel like praying, but that doesn’t make it any less important. In fact, many of us have exercised ourselves much more for far less. As students, we would put our legs in cold water just to stay awake to study through the night. As workers, many of us do with only four hours of sleep just to make it to the office in time. You may not feel like doing these things. But you do them because you know they are important.
You must have this same attitude to prayer and maintain focus in spite of difficulty. In Matthew 26, Jesus went to the mountain to pray with three of his disciples. In verse 43, it says: “And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.” Bear in mind that Jesus and the disciples practically had the same schedule. It’s not unlikely that Jesus’ schedule was even more hectic than that of his disciples. Jesus must have been tired too, but he stayed awake to pray.
After finding them in the same position the next time, he told them in verse 45, “Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.” Don’t wait until ‘the hour is at hand’ before you begin to pray. Don’t wait until there is a crisis before you begin to practice to pray long and hard. Start now. You must get to the point where you can count your victories in the place of prayer. Remember that the goal isn’t for the time to be up, but for prayers to be answered. Persevere in the place of prayer until you get a note of victory in your spirit.