The people named in the book of Hebrews prayed and waited in faith, much like many believers around the world today.

How to Persevere in Prayer

4/2/15 Prayer

Abraham and Sarah went through it. Joseph endured it. Elijah? Well, he was all too familiar with the topic. Even the Son of God has experienced the process of praying and waiting to receive an answer.

The entire Bible is filled with examples of God’s people waiting expectantly for answers to their prayers. The people named in the book of Hebrews prayed and waited in faith, much like many believers around the world today.

The married couple praying to have a baby, a widow praying for food for her children in the midst of social unrest, oppressed believers asking the Lord for their persecutors’ salvation, and yet, in the natural, requests seem to go unanswered.

Jesus taught on the importance of faith as a foundational principle in the kingdom of God. We will experience more of His kingdom activity and Jesus’ provision for us, as well as enjoy our relationship with Him more, as we believe for more.

We must intentionally cultivate growing in faith by hearing and speaking God’s Word over our heart and circumstances and against the works of the enemy—”So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). We must learn who we are in Christ and what is available to us in Christ.

Jesus described how faith operates. He indicated that we first “receive” our prayers in the spirit realm, and then we “have” them in the natural when we see them with our eyes. We need to be aware of the distinction between the spiritual and the natural realms to understand how prayer works.

“Whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore, I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them [in the spirit], and you will have them [in the natural].” (Mk. 11:23–24)

Prayer is not about informing or persuading God, but about conversing and connecting with Him relationally. We believe God has approved of our prayer and released it to us in the spirit realm; therefore, we never stop reminding Him of it and thanking Him for it. As we remind God of His promises with thanksgiving, we position ourselves to receive them in the natural.

Faith is the substance and evidence that goes beyond what we see or feel with our natural senses (Heb. 11:1–3). Faith is the title deed of what we already possess in the spirit; it is not physical evidence, but it is evidence given by the Spirit.

In a message from August 2014, Mike Bickle gave five principles for having a biblical perspective on praying with faith, in order to help us understand how faith and perseverance relate to prayer.

Although we do not earn answers to prayers by our persistence or obedience, as we persevere in prayer, our requests move from the spiritual realm to the natural realm.

We often pray for things that are not specifically promised in the Scripture, but that are not in opposition to the Word of God. The Spirit may indicate or confirm that He will grant a request. Some circumstantial blessings are subjective rather than directly promised in the Word, so we must be careful not to be presumptuous and then become angry if the answer does not come.

Prayers that are in God’s will are always answered in God’s timing and in God’s way, so do not give up too quickly or become discouraged if the answer to your prayer is delayed.

We can trust His leadership in the timing and method in which He answers our prayers.

Read more about persevering prayer and other aspects of developing a fervent and fruitful prayer life in Mike’s latest book, Growing in Prayer: A Real-Life Guide to Talking with God.

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