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Text Sermons : ~Other Speakers M-R : Old Paths Magazine - Issue 13 : Keep Praying Until God Answers by R.A. Torrey

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THE CENTRAL LESSON in this parable of the friend at midnight: When we pray, if we do not obtain the thing the first time, pray again; and if we do not obtain it the second time, pray a third time; and if we do not obtain it the hundredth time, go on praying until we do get it.
We should do much thinking before we ask anything of God and be clear that we ask according to His will. We should not rush heedlessly into God’s presence and ask for the first thing that comes to mind without giving proper thought to the question of whether it is really what we ought to have. But when we have decided that we should pray for something, we should keep on praying until we get it.

Shamelessness In Prayer

The word translated importunity in verse 8 is a deeply significant word. Its primary meaning is “shamelessness”—that is, it sets forth the persistent determination in prayer to God that will not be put to shame by any apparent refusal on His part to grant the thing that we ask. This is a very startling way that our Lord employs to set forth the necessity of “importunity” and persistence in prayer. It is as if the Lord would have us understand that God would have us draw nigh to Him with a resolute determination to obtain the things that we seek, a determination that will not be put to shame by any seeming refusal or delay on God’s part.

Why is it that God does not give to us the things that we ask, the first time we ask? The answer is plain: He would do us the far greater good of training us in persistent faith. The things we get by our other forms of effort than prayer do not always become ours the first time we make an effort to get them. For our own good God compels us to be persistent in our effort; just so, God does not always give us what we ask the first time we pray. Just as He would train us to be strong men and women along the other lines of effort, so also He would train us to be and make us to be strong men and women of prayer by compelling us to pray hard for the best things. He compels us to “pray through.”

Praying on and on

Many today tell us we ought not pray for the same thing a second time. Sometimes they say the way to pray is to ask God for a thing and then “take it” by faith the first time we ask.
That is true oftentimes. When we find a thing definitely promised in the Word, we can rest upon that. When we have prayed, knowing that we have asked according to God’s will, the prayer is heard, and we have received. Resting there, ask no more but claim the thing as ours.

But that is only one side of the truth. The other side is, there are times when it is not made clear the first time, nor the second time, nor the third time, that what we ask is according to His will and, therefore, the prayer is heard and the thing asked granted. In such a case we are to pray on and on and on.

R.A. Torrey (1856-1928) - World-wide evangelist used to bring many souls to Christ. Pastored Moody’s Church and school.

Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
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