OUR Lord Jesus declared that "men ought always to pray and not to faint," and the parable in which His words occur, was taught with the intention of saving men from faint-heartedness and weakness in prayer. Our Lord was seeking to teach that laxity must be guarded against, and persistence fostered and encouraged. There can be no two opinions regarding the importance of the exercise of this indispensable quality in our praying.
Persistent prayer is a mighty movement of our soul toward God. It is a stirring of the deepest forces of our soul, toward the throne of heavenly grace. It is the ability to hold on, press on, and wait. Restless desire, restful patience, and strength to grasp are all contained in it. It is not an incident, or a performance, but deep passion of our soul. It is not a want, half-needed, but a sheer necessity.
The wrestling quality in persistent prayers does not spring from physical strength or fleshly energy. It is not an impulse of energy, not a mere earnestness of our soul; it is an inward force, a sense implanted and aroused by the Holy Spirit. Virtually, it is the intercession of the Spirit of God, in us; it is, moreover, "the effectual, fervent prayer, which avails' much."
The Divine Spirit informing every element within us, with the energy of His own striving, is the spirit of the persistence which urges our praying at the mercy-seat, to continue until the fire falls and the blessing descends.
This wrestling in prayer may not be boisterous nor violent, but quiet, persistent and urgent. Silent, it may be, when there are no visible outlets for its mighty forces.
Nothing distinguishes the children of God so clearly and strongly as prayer. It is the one infallible mark and test of being a Christian. Christian people are prayerful but the worldly-minded is prayer-less. Christians call on God; the world ignores God, and do not call on His Name. But even we who are Christian have a great need to cultivate continual prayer.
Prayer must be habitual, but much more than a habit. It is duty, yet one that rises far above, and goes beyond the ordinary implications of the term. It is the expression of a relation to God, a yearning for Divine communion. It is the outward and upward flow of the inward life toward its original fountain. It is an affirmation of our soul's parenthood, our claim of son-ship that links us to the Eternal God our Father.
Prayer has everything to do with molding the soul into the image of God, and has everything to do with enhancing and enlarging the measure of Divine grace. It has everything to do with bringing the soul into complete communion with God. It has everything to do with enriching, broadening and maturing our soul's experience in God.
Therefore a person cannot possibly be called a Christian who does not pray. By no possible pretext can we claim any right to the term, nor its implied significance. If we do not pray, we are sinners, pure and simple, for prayer is the only way in which our soul can enter into fellowship and communion with the Source of all Christ-like spirit and energy. Hence, if we pray not, we are not of the household of faith.
Think on this for awhile - Are you a child of God? Do you pray to God our Father through Jesus Christ? Who do you pray to?