Persistence in Prayer

Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife. And Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren. And the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived.

– Genesis 25:20-21

Because of the 2018 Winter Olympics, nearly everyone has heard of Pyeongchang, South Korea. But before the Olympics, most of the world had never heard of this mountain hamlet and fewer still thought the city should host a Winter Olympics. So how did this unknown city end up being the host for this world-wide event? In a word, persistence.

For more than a decade, the South Korean government made hosting the Winter Olympics a national priority. They tried for the 2010 games and lost the bid. They tried again for the 2014 games and lost again. But South Korea refused to give up. They kept asking, and their persistence paid off. Today this unknown city is unknown no longer.

Persistence was also critical in the Old Testament story of Isaac and Rebekah, though we have to read carefully to see it. If we read Genesis 25 too quickly, it might sound like Isaac and Rebekah were married, tried to have children, realized something was wrong, so Isaac prayed. And shortly thereafter Rebekah became pregnant (with twins). But this happy ending did not happen quite that quickly.

Deep in Isaac’s story we discover that “Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.” Did you catch that? Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah, and he was sixty years old when the twins were born. That means Isaac prayed for children for twenty years! That is persistence. And his persistence was rewarded.

So, when we’re tempted to give up on our prayers, let’s keep asking and persisting. God may not give us the answer that we seek, but He will give us an answer. And sometimes that answer may be more than we could have hoped for.

Today’s One Thing

Have a want, need or desire on your prayer list? Resist the temptation to give up on it. Keep praying . . . even when the answer is slow to come.

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