Pray intentionally — and don’t give up!

Published 10:54 am Thursday, August 27, 2015


Pray on purpose — scripture: Luke 18:1-8

In the Gospel of Saint Luke, chapter 18, verses one through eight, Jesus tells a parable instructing his disciples how to pray and to never give up. Jesus uses the imagery of a persistent widow and an uncompassionate judge. There are three lessons that Jesus teaches in this parable.

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The first lesson is to be intentional when praying to God. The widow stated, “Grant me justice against my opponent.” The widow knew what she wanted from the judge. This is how we should approach God with our requests. We should be intentional. Intentional means “on purpose.” Don’t just pray a random prayer, but pray on purpose. For example, if we pray for someone who is physically sick, ask God to restore their body back to full health. Be specific in the prayer.

The second lesson is to be persistent when praying to God. The widow kept coming with the same request until she got an answer from the judge. Persistence is the key. We should approach God with persistence. Keep praying until God answers the prayer. As a result of the widow’s persistence, the judge got tired of the widow coming with the same request every day, so the judge granted her request. If we had a let’s pray it again spirit, instead of giving up after the second time we pray, how many blessings would be on our front door step?

The third lesson is to believe and have faith in what we pray. In Luke 18:8, it asks a question: will Jesus find faith on earth? Hebrews 11:6 says, without faith, it is impossible to please God. “To please,” means to come into agreement.  It is possible to pray intentionally and to pray with persistence and to lack faith in the prayer. Without faith, the request that we are asking God for won’t happen. We have to believe in the power that God has when we pray. If we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we can move mountains.

Pray on purpose. Be intentional, persistent and believe that God will answer prayer. It makes no difference what the problem is, we can go to God in prayer. All we have to do is call God up and tell God what we want. God is never unavailable, never late, and never sleeps. Focus on God’s power, not the problem. Hallelujah!!! AMEN.

The Rev. Matthew Shannon, is pastor of Beulah AME Church in Farmville. His email address is

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