Persistence In Prayer
Although prayer is an exalted privilege of Christians, it is not a substitute for obedience to the will of God. (See Mt. 7:21-23 & Luke 6:46).
Early Christians prayed often and steadfastly. Acts 2:42 says: "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." Acts 12:5 says: "Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him." NOTE: After Peter's release from prison, "he came to the house of Mary the mother of John... where many were gathered together praying." (Verse 12)
To the saints at Rome the apostle Paul said: "...Continuing instant in prayer" (Romans 12:12) and he exhorted those in Thessalonica to "Pray without ceasing" (I Thess. 5:17). To the saints at Ephesus he said: "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints" (Eph. 6:18). NOTE: "Continuing", "without ceasing" and "praying always" suggest the idea of praying often, consistently and persistently.
In Luke 11:1 we read: "And It came to pass, that, as he was praying In a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples." In verses 2-4 Jesus did teach the disciples how to pray. In verses 5-8 Jesus taught His disciples to be persistent in their praying by saying unto them: "Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me In bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." NOTE: The word "importunity" means persistence and is so translated in the NKJV and some others. This passage certainly teaches that we should be persistent in praying.
Luke 18:1-8 says: "And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city, and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily..." NOTE: Here is another passage where Jesus clearly teaches persistence in prayer. Be persistent in prayer!