Shameless Persistence

Last week, I went on an overnight trip with a friend who is 32 years younger than me. She mentioned wanting to go paddle boarding, which I’d never done. My friend patiently gave me some basic instructions, and we set out in the shallow water. Cautiously I got up into a standing position on the board, and as I pushed away from the shore, I promptly fell into the sea.  No worries. She told me I didn’t have to stand; I could kneel instead. I did that until my 61-year-old knees decided they’d had enough. It would have been easy to get off the board and sit on the shore watching. Instead, I carefully lowered myself to a more comfortable seated position. As I became more confident, in the Caribbean Sea, in a swimsuit, paddle boarding with my 29-year-old friend, I understood the definition of shameless persistence. It is an unembarrassed outlook that compels you to keep going.


Jesus told a story about about a woman seeking food in the middle of the night who exhibited shameless persistence. In fact, He wants us to pray with this attitude.

“I tell you—because of your shameless persistence, even though it’s the middle of the night, your friend will get up out of his bed and give you all that you need.” ‭‭Luke‬ ‭11‬:‭8‬ ‭TPT‬‬ 

Ask, Seek, Knock

“So it is with your prayers. Ask and you’ll receive. Seek and you’ll discover. Knock on heaven’s door, and it will one day open for you. Every persistent person will receive what he asks for. Every persistent seeker will discover what he needs. And everyone who knocks persistently will one day find an open door.” ‭‭Luke‬ ‭11‬:‭9‬-‭10‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Ask, seek, knock, are three continuous verbs. These are actions we supposed to start and not stop. When we ask, seek, and knock, with such persistence we are exhibiting and unembarrassed boldness before the throne of grace. We keep on asking, we continue to seek, and we don’t give up on knocking because God has given us the authority to come into His presence. And He does not want us timidly coming to Him, He wants us to surrender, be vulnerable, and tell Him all about our circumstances.

Prayer is not natural

Prayer is something we learn how to do. Like the disciples, may we be bold enough to ask God to teach us how to pray. And may we pray boldly, persistently, and constantly. Effective prayer has to be taught and learned. There’s no shame in not knowing how to pray or feeling uncomfortable in prayer. But there could be regret if we don’t ask to be taught and as a result spend years of our Christian lives ineffective in prayer.

Simply having the intention to pray won’t make us prayer warriors. We need determination. Jesus wants us to persist in prayer because persistence gets results.

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