“They should always pray and not give up.” Luke 18:1
When I was only eight years old, I began praying for my dysfunctional family while alone in my bedroom. It still brings tears to my eyes to think that Jesus Christ was listening to me—a little child from a poor family—in those quiet moments. I had no status or influence in the community—no particular skills or talent that the Lord needed. And yet He accepted and blessed me in the years that followed. Those early prayers for a loving family, and later for a Christian husband, were answered beyond my greatest hopes and dreams.
Some of you reading this tonight, however, have also prayed unceasingly for what you believe is God’s will—yet you’ve seen no evidence that He has even heard your prayers. I know of one husband and wife who have prayed for the salvation of their children for more than twenty‐five years, with no hint of change. To those in a similar situation: I understand your discouragement. I don’t know why the Lord chooses to grant some of our petitions more quickly than others—but I do know that He honors the prayers of His righteous followers, and that we should stay on our knees before Him.
Luke 18 records the parable Jesus told about the widow who approached a judge, day after day, asking for justice against her adversary. For some time the judge refused. Finally, however, he gave in, “so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!” Jesus was telling us to not give up, but to pray persistently for the desires of our hearts.
I have based my life on my belief in the power and importance of prayer. That’s why I agreed to chair the National Day of Prayer Task Force. And it is why Jim and I have made prayer the cornerstone of our marriage. Consistent prayer can also undergird and sustain your marital relationship through the years. We encourage the two of you to bow before our great, loving God—tonight and every night.