Sometimes I don’t even have the persistence of peanut butter.
If you put a healthy portion of Skippy on your PBJ sandwich, you’re going to need a tall glass of milk. That concoction of starch and spread has the ability to relentlessly bond to the roof of your mouth. Someone will inevitably ask you, “How’s it going?” when you can’t even mutter in reply. But with a nice glass of milk, it all washes sweetly down.
That peanut butter has a certain persistence – but it also has its limits. And that’s the point of my thought at this moment. What is the limit of my persistence?
God has told us many things about prayer in His Word – here are just a few:
- Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
- Pray expectantly (Psalm 5:3)
- Pray urgently (Psalm 70:5)
- Pray persistently (Luke 18:1-8)
If you’re like me, you have many needs and wants. Are you persistent about praying for them? Or have you been more like I’d been recently – lackadaisical, inconsistent, perhaps even lazy or fatalistic? (i.e. if God wanted it to happen, it would have happened by now; He doesn’t need me nagging; my prayers won’t change a thing.)
Our family has a yellow Labrador retriever. Gabi is the sweetest pup on earth and extremely affectionate with all of us. (She really liked our boys when they were little – she would clean the extra food off their faces!) But sometimes the reason Gabi licks me isn’t solely because she loves me – sometimes it’s because she wants something. Her kisses mean something along the lines of “Hey, I love you, please take me for a walk,” or “You are so awesome – when you share your steak with me! Go ahead! C’mon! Please?” She can be extremely persistent.
So I was pondering this morning, as Gabi affectionately (and repeatedly) asked me to walk her, how persistent am I in asking my Master for what I want? Honestly! If I’m so aware of my needs, why am I so reluctant to fervently appeal? God tells us to “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord” (Romans 12:11.) Stop right now and put this into practice – fill in the blanks with your needs:
Jesus – I need You!
I need You more than anything!
For everything else I need, I ask You now, and will continue to ask You for Your blessing. For … … … , I ask You, and for … … … , I ask You, and…
I don’t know if what you want is what God will give you. There is no formula. I don’t know if it’s His answer, His timing, His method. But isn’t it time to rightly value the power of God, the love of God, and the call of God? He is able, He gives good gifts, and He wants us to ask!
Let us pray persistently, expectantly, urgently and without ceasing, that the God who loved us enough to die for us would answer our prayers. Won’t you join with me?
And now I need to go make a PBJ. Maybe a couple. As it turns out, Gabi likes Skippy too.