My friend, may I ask you a question? Should we be persistent when we pray, eager to demonstrate to the Lord that redundancy, however seemingly ineffective, is the way to offer our prayers? Does God loves redundancy when it comes to praying?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
Here’s a story. One evening 6-year-old Bobby asked his father for a pet. ‘Sorry, Son,’ his father said, ‘not now. But if you pray real hard for two months, maybe God will send you a baby brother.’ Bobby prayed faithfully for a month, but when nothing happened, he gave up. How surprised he was, when a month later, a little baby boy arrived at their home, or so Bobby thought when he saw the squirming bundle beside his mother. His proud father drew back the cover and Bobby saw another baby. Twins! ‘Aren’t you glad you prayed for a baby brother?’ asked his father. ‘I sure am,’ said the boy. ‘But aren’t you glad I stopped praying when I did?’ (Source unknown.)
Funny as that story is, it’s truly poignant in a way. Bobby wanted to pray often to achieve his goal, a baby brother. It didn’t occur to him that God didn’t need multiple opportunities to grant his prayer; he heard it the first time. Yet, Bobby kept on praying because that’s what children do. They’re persistent, if nothing else and redundancy is just a natural response to getting what they want. How about us? Is it possible that God becomes impatient with our persistence?
Over the years I’ve managed several different nonprofit organizations including This Passing Day, and one of my tasks is and was to make sure that income and expenses at least balanced out at the end of the year. In a bad economy that’s sometimes challenging, to say the least. Program donors were often willing, but they had their own timetable when they wanted to write out a check and drop it in the mail. Also, many donors just had bad memories and forgot that they were going to donate in the first place. One thing that I learned after years of fundraising is this: it never hurts to call donors and remind them of their potential, financial commitments. Sometimes those calls were multiple; in fact I remember there was one instance when made over a dozen phone calls to one donor with basically the same message each time: “Our program needs your support. Please help us with a generous investment as you did last year.” Most often I reached his answering machine, but, in the end, persistence won out. I got a call back from the donor thanking me for my persistence, apologizing for his tardy response, and telling me that he appreciated the fact that I wasn’t willing to give up on him. It was difficult, I admit, to pick up the phone toward the end of that calling string and leaving the same message each time, but I was glad I did.
God has his own timetable and he isn’t likely to let us in on the particulars of that. He’s also particular about etiquette when it comes to prayer. Much like that donor, prayer calls for persistence on the part of the asker. God never gets annoyed with our repetition when it comes to prayer; in fact, he prefers it. Praying with the persistence of a child and the wisdom of an adult is the right kind of praying God is looking for. There is no such thing as being a prayer pest to God. And, the cool thing about that is this; our persistence, just like Bobby, may often pay off in dividends we hadn’t even bargained for. I’d say persistence, in this case, ought to be something we’re eager to demonstrate. In the end a persistent prayer is always a winner; because God loves redundancy when it comes to prayer.
We pray. Our Father in Heaven. May your name be holy among men. Let you kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. Give us our daily bread today. Forgive our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Do not allow us to fall into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For yours is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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God bless you for Jesus sake.