And he stretched himself out over the child three times and cried out to the Lord, “O Lord my God, please let this child’s life return to him.” The Lord heard Elijah’s prayer, and the life of the child returned, and he revived! – 1 Kings 17:21-22
The Lord told Elijah to pray for the rain to stop, which it did for three years. During that time, the Lord told the prophet to go to a lady near Sidon and stay with her, for she would care for him during the famine. While the prophet stayed with the lady, her son died. She begged the prophet to do something, so he took the child up to his room, laid him on the bed, and covered the dead boy with his body three times while praying for God to heal him and raise him from the dead. After the third time, the Lord heard and answered the prophet’s prayer. Then the prophet took the boy downstairs alive and returned him to his mother.
Is there something that you’ve been praying for to the LORD and haven’t seen or heard an answer to that prayer just yet? Don’t give up hope or lose faith! It took the prophet Elijah three times to pray to God before the dead boy was made alive again. Even Jesus told us the parable of the little old lady, who demanded justice be served over her case. The judge in her story didn’t even believe in God, but the godly lady’s persistence resulted in his finding in her favor and being granted her prayer to the bench for justice!
One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. “There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people. A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’”
Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?” (Luke 18:1-8)
Jesus spoke of being granted justice here, but the principle of being persistent in our prayers to see God come through applies here. It is not a lack of faith to continue praying to God for something to be done. The little old lady didn’t hesitate to go to the judge regularly to seek justice. Even Paul taught us that we are to, Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. (Ephesians 6:18) Eventually you will hear God’s answer; it will be either a yes, a no, or not right now. Trust him!
Father, thank you for hearing our prayers and for answering our prayers. I am so glad that you don’t get upset with us when we come to regularly about the same issue until it’s resolved. You’re the one who taught us that justice was sought by the little old lady from an unjust judge, who finally delivered a just ruling for her. How much more will the God of heaven give his children good gifts from above when the evil fathers in this life give good gifts to their children? You love us far greater than any human can or will. We trust in your wisdom and guidance. Your will be done, not ours. In Jesus’ name, Amen.