Parents don’t like it when their children beg and their spouses nag. If you are asked for something and the answer’s no, you don’t like to hear about it again and again. Wouldn’t it be logical to assume, then, that God would be irritated if we ask for something more than once?
Logical? Yes. But in fact, the very opposite is true. He does not see repeated prayers as nagging or begging. “Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. . . . ‘Will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?’” (Luke 18:1,7).
In Jesus’ little story, a widow pestered a judge for justice until he relented. Instead of criticizing the woman for being such a pest, Jesus held her up as a hero and invited all believers to be just like her.
When our first prayer doesn’t seem to be granted, we don’t know for sure when God is saying no permanently, or when his answer is “maybe,” or when the answer is “later.” What we do know is that the Father not merely tolerates but welcomes and even praises persistent pray-ers. Pray and don’t give up!