Feel like giving up? Prayed so long that you feel like throwing in the towel? Are you exhausted, overwhelmed, or even discouraged from trying? If any of this applies to you, God is saying DON’T STOP TRYING!
As a youth, I was a huge fan of Michael Jordan. At times, I revisit his book I Can’t Accept Not Trying. In it he writes, “I realized that if I was going to achieve anything in life I had to be aggressive. I had to get out there and go for it. I don’t believe you can achieve anything by being passive…That’s not to say there aren’t obstacles or distractions. If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks…But roadblocks don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”
I thought about these words and how they relate to our spiritual walk. How do we respond when we encounter life’s roadblocks? Do we become more aggressive or do we simply turn around and give up? In the gospel of Luke, Jesus tells two parables which speak directly to how God desires for us to handle moments when we feel like giving up. In short, Jesus tells us not to give up.
In the first parable, Jesus says suppose you go to a friend’s house at midnight to ask for food only to be turned away. He explains that although the friend may not give you what you ask for the first time, “if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.” Luke 11:8 NLT Now, think about this. The fact that you would go to a friend’s at midnight means that there is likely a dire need. You’re not asking for the fun of it; you’re asking because you have a need that you believe your friend can meet. Have you ever asked God for something in your midnight hour? Did you feel as if you weren’t getting what you needed when you asked? Well, through this parable Jesus teaches us that if you are truly in need why stop asking? Instead, Jesus encourages us to “keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives, Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” Luke 11:9-10 NLT
In a similar passage, “Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” Luke 18:1 NIV In the parable, there is a widow who goes before an unjust judge in order to receive relief against her adversary. Jesus says that for some time the judge refused the widow, but eventually he gave her justice because she kept bothering him. The parable concludes by reminding us that we should expect more from God than from an unjust judge. “And will not God bring justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.” Luke 18:7 NIV
This parable demonstrates that if we can go before men and continue to ask for worldly things, we should be even bolder when we approach our Father who is just and loves us. Jesus says that God will answer those who cry out to Him day and night. So, although you may feel tired, weary, or even dismayed, God does not want you to give up. Keep praying despite how you feel. “Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers.” Ephesians 6:18 NIV Remember that in due time, God will answer and reward your diligence. “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” Galatians 6:9 NLT
Thank You for being a God who answers prayer. Teach us how to be persistent and not give up at the first sign of defeat. Remind us that faith requires us to maintain hope even when all visible evidence seems contrary to our belief. Help us to walk by faith and not by sight. Renew us daily and allow Your Holy Spirit to speak encouragement to our hearts. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
Ladies, I EMPOWER you to stay on the course. Don’t give up! When you feel like throwing in the towel, continue to pray, knowing that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
Are you relentless in your prayers to God? In your persistence what has he revealed?
Read a related EmpowerMoment: Pray Without Ceasing: Eureka!
Ms. Latasha McCrary is an active member of St. Luke Christian Church in Huntsville, AL where she serves as a Young Adult Facilitator and is training as a Life Skills Coach. She is passionate about the practice of law and views her profession as an extension of her calling to serve. Latasha firmly believes that “Service is the price we pay for the space we occupy” and is grateful for God’s continuing favor evidenced in her life. “By this I know that you favor me, because you have not let my enemies triumph over me.” (Psalms 41:11)