Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
The assertion “It takes 21 days to form
a new habit” is often accepted as
scientific fact, but a 2009 study in the
European Journal of Social Psychology
found it usually takes much longer. In
the study, participants tried building
a new habit such as regular exercise
or increased water consumption.
The researchers discovered that, on
average, it took 66 days to form a habit,
and some habits took as long as 254
days (eight months!) to take hold.
As we saw yesterday, prayer is a
particularly difficult habit. Today’s
passage gives us the much-needed
encouragement to press on. Here,
we have encouragement to faithful
intercession because the Lord Himself
welcomes it. Jesus gathers His disciples
to tell them this parable for one reason:
“To show them that they should always
pray and not give up” (v. 1). When prayer
seems difficult, we must remember that
our Lord stands nearby, encouraging
us. All of His commands to pray—
continually (1 Thess. 5:17), always (Eph.
6:18), and in every situation (Phil. 4:6)—
are the Lord’s loving invitations. We can
never nag or exasperate a God who
bids us to “give him no rest” (Isa. 62:7).
And we are not alone. The widow in
the parable was given by Jesus as
an encouraging example. Elsewhere,
Scripture reminds us of other persistent
intercessors. Abraham repeatedly
asked God to spare Sodom (Gen.
18:23–32); Elijah prayed earnestly for
rain (James 5:17–18); and the apostle
Paul interceded for the Thessalonians
night and day (1 Thess. 3:10). Most
of all, we look to Christ Himself who
“always lives to intercede” (Heb. 7:25).
Prayer may be a hard habit to form, but
we have plenty of role models. Let us
always pray and not give up!
Apply the Word
Tertullian called praying together “a holy conspiracy [by which] we may set upon God by a force that is welcome to him.” Knowing that God invites our intercessions greatly encourages us to persist. Pray again today for something you have prayed for in the past, knowing that the loving Father welcomes your cries “day and night” (v. 7).
Pray with Us
Continue to pray for the dedicated staff of Moody Radio’s WCRF, ministering to listeners in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Raise in prayer Kathleen Zion, Paul Carter, and Scott Krus who daily bring God’s Word and Christian music to Moody friends.