Persistence in Prayer

Jun 5, 2010

Below is a prayer drawing I have been using for a couple of weeks. As new prayer concerns came to mind and heart, I added doodles. The act of drawing focuses my prayers and my wandering mind. Every time I look at it, the resulting picture reminds me to pray.

Sometimes when I pray I think I’m being rude to pray over and over again for the same person or about the same issue. When I was a kid, my parents taught me that begging, nagging, and asking for something more than once was impolite.

But there is Biblical precedence for nagging in prayer:

Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people.  In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, “Grant me justice against my opponent.’For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, “Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’ “ (Luke 18: 1-5 NRSV)

Luke encourages my nagging…or as my friend Claire calls it: “passionate begging.” I think I’ll just call it persistence; it sounds a little more polite.
Drawing: Sybil MacBeth 2010