Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
When Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, many that heard his word believed and became Christians. He continued to exhort these new believers with many other words and they continued steadfastly in the apostles teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and in prayers. To continue steadfastly means to give unremitting care to something; to attend continually upon something; to persevere in something. There is probably no area of our lives that requires more perseverance than maintaining a prayer life. It may be easier for some than others but it requires perseverance from all of us. Perseverance is steady persistence in doing something or continuing a course of action despite difficulty, delay, or discouragement in achieving success.
The Apostle Paul let the Christians at the Church of Ephesus know that they were to pray always with all manner of prayer and watch with all perseverance for all the saints. He had just expounded upon their provisions in Christ and protection they had in the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) and concludes with his exhortation about prayer and the perseverance that is needed. Keep in mind he was talking about wrestling against spiritual forces of the enemy letting us know that there is opposition to living godly in this fallen world.
Why does it take perseverance or why do we have to persevere? We must persevere because of:
- THE NATURE OF SPIRITUAL WARFARE AND OUR ENEMY.
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Our enemy, satan, though he is a defeated foe, will fight to the end and has no thought of surrender. He persistently renews his attacks and yields only what he must or is made to. Every day we wake up on planet Earth there are invisible alien beings that are hostile against us. We must resist our enemy in all of his wiles and devices. Jesus defeated him but we must persevere to enforce his defeat and stand in our authority in Christ. The very gates of hell cannot prevail against the prevailing prayers of Jesus’ Church.
- THE NATURE OF THE FLESH.
Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
The flesh is weak and has no strength for spiritual activities or to produce spiritual results. Our fleshly nature will never naturally provide motivation for prayer or make us feel like prayer is something we should do. We will probably not be praying much if we’re depending on a feeling from our flesh to make us feel like we should pray. Until our spirit along with our mind renewed by the Word can dominate our flesh we must persevere.
- THE NATURE OF PRAYER ITSELF.
Acts 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
Prayer needs time given to it in order to develop into a consistent prayer life. Think of the time it takes for a child to grow to become a mature adult. Think of the time it takes for a small acorn to become a giant oak tree. A prayer life needs time given to it and seldom will it develop without it. It will take our will and perseverance.
Do you know how we sometimes are when it comes to getting up and we know we have to go to work. We’d rather sleep for a few more minutes or hours but by an act of our will we get up and through time end up with a work career. We tend to use our will for everything but prayer and operate more by feelings. You may have started to pray and stopped; started and stopped. You may have felt it was a cold dark and difficult experience. Be honest with the Lord but also give it more time and persevere.