Then Jesus told his disciples . . . that they should always pray and not give up. (Luke 18: 1)
Observe the ant,” the great Oriental conqueror Tamerlane told his friends. In relating a story from his early life, he said, “I once was forced to take shelter from my enemies in a dilapidated building, where I sat alone for many hours. Wishing to divert my mind from my hopeless situation, I fixed my eyes on an ant carrying a kernel of corn larger than itself up a high wall. I counted its attempts to accomplish this feat. The corn fell sixty-nine times to the ground, but the insect persevered. The seventieth time it reached the top. The ant’s accomplishment gave me courage for the moment, and I never forgot the lesson.”
~from The King’s Business
Prayer that uses previously unanswered prayers as an excuse for laziness has already ceased to be a prayer of faith. To someone who prays in faith, unanswered prayers are simply the evidence that the answer is much closer. From beginning to end, our Lord’s lessons and examples teach us that prayer that is not steadfast and persistent, nor revived and refreshed, and does not gather strength from previous prayers is not the prayer that will triumph.
Arthur Rubinstein, the great pianist, once said, “If I neglect practicing one day, I notice; two days, my friends notice; three days, the public notices.” It is the old principle “Practice makes perfect.” We must continue believing, praying, and doing His will. In any of the arts, when the artist ceases to practice, we know the result. If we would only use the same level of common sense in our faith that we use in our everyday life, we would be moving on toward perfection.
David Livingstone’s motto was, “I resolved never to stop until I had come to the goal and achieved my purpose.” He was victorious through unwavering persistence and faith in God.
Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (pp. 39-40). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.