I was praying for my dad from the start. And I kept praying, and praying, and praying (or so it seemed). It soon got to the point where I was tired of praying for the same exact thing every day...for months! I knew that God knows our every need, and I had prayed so much before - I was beginning to feel like I had done all I could do and that prayer wasn't needed anymore.
Around this time I began reading Set-Apart Femininity by Leslie Ludy. Chapter 6 changed my view of prayer.
In that chapter Leslie talks about how she had learned to worship and let God speak to her through His word, "But the idea of wrestling, importunate, persistent prayer was completely foreign to me." (152) I knew exactly what she meant when she said that sometimes we pray, "God, if it's your will, please do this," or, "Please do that, if it's your will." Then, if God doesn't answer after a few times of praying, we assume that it's not His will. But maybe, just maybe, God doesn't answer right away to teach us faith and perseverance.
Our praying needs to be pressed and pursued with an energy that never tires, a persistency which will not be denied, and a courage that never fails.-- E.M. Bounds
James 4:2 says, "...you do not have because you do not ask." Christ teaches that He wants us to be "relentlessly persistent" in our prayer: Luke 11:5-9, Luke 18:1-8, John 6:23-24, and so many more!
Here's what Leslie Ludy says, "God asks us to have the kind of faith that asks boldly for specific things. Instead of vague, general prayers that don't demand faith, we must begin 'putting it all on the line' and take the risk of laying our precise needs before the King." (160)
After reading that, I was convicted about the way I had been praying - especially for my dad's job. I began to change that. It's probably one of the boldest prayers I've ever prayed, but I prayed that God would give my dad a job in one month. One month. I struggled with myself at first, thinking, What if Dad doesn't get a job in one month? What would happen if God doesn't answer this prayer? I don't want to become like the "name-it, claim-it" people who think that they'll get whatever they pray for!!!!
But I prayed that God would give me faith in Him, that He is more than able - and He delights in giving us good gifts! I began praying with fervency everyday: Okay God...give me faith. One month.
Now, since this is all written in the past tense, I'm sure you all know what I'm about to say! =D
My dad got a job!!!!
I'm sooo amazed at how God has answered this prayer! On January 10, 2010, I prayed Dad would get a job in a month, and on January 28, 2010 he did! Praise the Lord! All glory to God! He used a trying situation to teach me an important lesson about prayer! Bless the Lord!