Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Persevering for the Promise

Author Biography

    Gordon Robertson is the CEO of CBN and host of The 700 Club. His hobbies include photography, cooking, and playing with his dog Daisy.

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Gordon Robertson - President and CEO, CBN

It’s vital to understand the importance of prayer, because without it we won’t succeed in the tasks God has given us. So how should we pray? 

In Luke 11, Jesus teaches His disciples to pray, beginning with what we call the Lord’s Prayer. He goes on to tell the parable of a man knocking on a friend’s door at midnight, asking for loaves of bread. Although the friend replies that he and his family are in bed, Jesus says in verse 8, 

“Though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.”

Jesus uses this to show that we can’t simply rest on our friendship—our love relationship—with God; we must be persistent in prayer. For then He gives the great promise in verses 9-10: 

“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

The link between the parable and the promise is perseverance. So we should ask ourselves, do we pray casually or with persistence?

Years ago, I met Kathryn Kuhlman at a meeting that CBN was sponsoring. I was about 10 years old, running around backstage, when I saw her—deep in prayer, earnestly begging God for the Holy Spirit to come in power and anointing. It left a strong impression on me. Kathryn was one of the top healing evangelists in America, yet she wasn’t just going through the motions; she was going deep in prayer. 

We see in the Apostle Paul’s letters that he clearly understands the importance of persistent prayer. He writes to the church in Rome, 

Now I beg you, brethren, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and through the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in prayers to God for me (Romans 15:30)

He isn’t simply saying, “Please pray”—he is saying, “I’m begging you through Jesus. I’m begging you through the Spirit. Please strive together with me in prayers to God.”

Paul is heading toward Jerusalem, where he has been warned prophetically that he will be bound. And so he asks for prayer, 

that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you (Romans 15:31-32)

Although Paul knows that great hardship lies ahead, he is saying, “Please pray for this, because at the end of the journey I will be with you.” 

Indeed, Paul’s journey takes him to Rome—and prison. There he writes about the armor of God, including the helmet of salvation and feet shod with the Gospel of peace. And he concludes by explaining what to do when the armor is on:   

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak (Ephesians 6:18-20)

The armor equips us for life, and it also equips us specifically for prayer. Clothed in the full armor, we are to be praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit

Paul is in chains, about to go on trial. The Mamertine prison, where most scholars believe he was kept, is a hole in the ground. Yet he is asking for prayer to boldly preach the Gospel. 

Writing another letter from the same prison, he says in Colossians 4:2-4: 

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.

Imagine being in prison, where the only opening is a hole in the ceiling, and praying, “God, open the door so I can preach.” 

Now, consider where we are in time, and how we have it within our means today to boldly preach the Gospel to every tribe, nation and tongue. We have the ability, we have the means, and we stand free. Yet are we praying for this, and with the same earnestness that Paul prayed? Are we constantly looking for that open door? 

Near the end of his letter to the Colossians, Paul writes: 

Epaphras … greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God (Colossians 4:12)

May that be our prayer as well. We know His will is to preach the Gospel, so let us use every opportunity and endeavor to stand perfect and complete in that will. He is with us, we have His anointing, and we have His strength. God bless you.

© Copyright Gordon Robertson.

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