I don't know about you, but I'm on a quest to become a more self-less pray-er, so I have been looking for something that would be sort of an "Intercessory Prayer for Dummies." My search led me to one of the Classic Christian authors on Prayer, Andrew Murray, and to his book, "The Ministry of Intercession".
Not everyone as we know, is into prayer, much less Intercessory Prayer. I've been asking myself why some are such strong and persistent prayer warriors while others are not. Andrew Murray's book shed some light on this for me the other day. In one chapter, he is extracting "the marks of an Intercessor" from Jesus' teaching on prayer in Luke 11.
He says, "...the marks of the true intercessors as the parable taught us" are:
1) A sense of the need of souls
2) A consciousness of personal impotence
3) Faith in the power of prayer
4) Courage to persevere inspite of refusal
5) The assurance of abundant reward
When I evaluate these marks in my own life, I see myself lacking, especially when it comes to "courage to persevere inspite of refusal". I'm persistent all right, but not necessarily in prayer. I guess I wonder if persistence is a matter of continuing to to ask for something to happen, how many times do you ask? I do not see God as being forgetful so I wonder why persistence is needed. Could it be that the persistence has to do with the process of refining our requests or growing our faith?
As I was finishing this chapter, I was struck by the following quote, "Shall men of the world sacrifice ease and pleasure in their pursuits, and shall we be such cowards and sluggards as not to fight our way through to the place where we can find liberty for the captive and salvation for the perishing?" Perhaps the answer to my question regarding persistence is here.