Finding the Strength to Persist in Prayer

God teaches us to persist in prayer. (See Luke 11:8.) But when we keep asking and our requests aren’t being answered, should we just ‘take a hint’ and move on? Bill called Msgr. Swetland, host of Go Ask Your Father, to express his frustration with prayer of petition.

I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence. – Luke 11:8

“I believe all of prayer is answered,” said Msgr. Swetland. “It’s just not answered necessarily in the way that we want it to be answered, in the sense that sometimes the answer is no. And sometimes that answer is what we need to hear even though we may not sense it at that time.”

It’s important to remember that we do not see the full picture and have the knowledge and understanding of God. God will always give us what we need, even when we don’t know what our needs are. “And that’s where we do have to defer to his greater wisdom.”

“We do know that God has asked of us, even commanded of us, that we seek and will find, that we knock and it will be opened, that we ask and we will receive. So we should ask, and seek, and knock because he’s asked us to do that. Now I believe he did that because he knew that it would be good for us,” explained Msgr. Swetland.

Even so, it can be difficult to keep asking when it seems as though your prayer is not being heard. Let’s ask God for the grace to continue persisting in our prayer.

“I believe prayer is very powerful. I have seen it change so many hearts and minds. I’ve seen miracle after miracle because of prayer. So for me, it’s like saying ‘rain is wet’. So a prayer is powerful because I’ve seen it create—and I’m talking about big things and small things, you know, things I never thought I’d see in my lifetime like the crumbling of the Berlin Wall and the end of apartheid in South Africa, to use two big examples, and numerous small things where God has answered prayer. So to me, it’s obviously happening in every moment,” said Msgr. Swetland.

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Lindsey is a wife, mother, and contributing author at Relevant Radio. She holds a degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lindsey enjoys writing, baking, and liturgical living with her young family.