by Rev. Scott R. Wright, Ph.D.
We live in a society of quitters. Marriages fail, companies collapse, careers cease, and lives are lost all because people give up too easily. In a word, we as a culture lack staying power. Sadly this tendency has infiltrated the church. It is alarming how often professing Christians parroting the culture abandon their commitments, renounce their convictions, and give up the pursuit of holiness. They do so simply because they refuse to persevere in following Christ, in walking with the Spirit, and in doing good.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the arena of prayer. In "closet contests" modern Christians seem to have lost the determination to prevail like that which motivated Jacob at Peniel (Gen 32:25). Perhaps this is one reason why the contemporary church finds her task so difficult. She will overcome not by might nor by power but by God's Spirit, who is given in answer to prayer (Lk 11:13). But she is not praying! As pray-ers we must persevere that we may enjoy success in the Christian life. In fact, one must be shamelessly persistent in prayer if he is to obtain whatever he needs (Lk 11:8). That is so counter-cultural! Rather than giving up and crying foul when our desire for instant gratification is foiled, we must stick with it on our knees in asking, seeking, and knocking! In time through persistence our minds and hearts will be properly aligned and suitably poised to receive the good things God has so graciously and generously designed for us. Those desires offered to Him for things agreeable to His will shall be satisfied through our diligent and dogged pursuit of answers from heaven. Isn't this what characterized Jesus Himself, whose greatest work was the fruit of persistent prayer (Mk 14:36)? Let us walk in the same way He walked (1Jn 2:6).
Rev. Scott R. Wright is pastor of Redeemer Church (PCA). For more information please contact scottRwright@gmail.com or go to www.RedeemerOhio.org. Copyright reserved