“Hast thou not known? Have thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of His understanding” (Isaiah 40:27-29).
There is no greater temptation in the personal and intercessory prayer life of believers more common than failure to persevere. We begin to pray for certain things, we offer our prayers for a day, week or maybe a month, then having not received a desired answer, immediately we faint, give up, and stop praying altogether. A seasoned business manager friend told me; “If you do something inappropriate once it is a mistake, do it twice and it is the beginning of a bad habit, there should be no third time,” I took it to heart. Also, I believe our prayer life works very much the same. We decide if it is a mistake to give up on God once or if we will form the bad habit of giving up too easy and too often.
The act of fainting, giving up, is the beginning of a bad habit. God knows I have had my days when I wanted to throw up both hands and scream to heaven “When Lord?” Impatience and a lack of endurance are snares Satan use to lure us away from the eternal vigilance of God. He “fainteth not, neither is weary,” He is with us from the beginning of our petitions to their completions. God has never given up on humanity, we give up on Him. “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:30-31).
It is destructive to the prayer life of any Christian who forms the habit of beginning to ask God for a thing and not pray it through to a successful conclusion by waiting on the Lord. That person has simply fainted, and introduced the habit of failure into their life. To faint is to fail; then failure begets disheartenment and disbelief in the reality of the power of prayer, which is fatal to all success. But someone asks, “How long shall we pray? Do we not come to a place where we stop asking of God and leave the request in God’s hands?” There is but one answer. It was in God’s hand before you started to pray. Pray until you believe God or receive an answer from Him.
“Have faith that whatever you ask for in prayer is already granted you, and you will find that it will be” (Mark 11:24). Only at one of these two places dare we stop our petitioning, for prayer is more than calling upon God, it is part of the three-party conflict between man, God and Satan. Inasmuch as God is using our prayers as a mighty weapon for victory in that conflict, He alone, and not we, must decide when we stop our petitioning. So we do not stop our prayers until the answer itself has come, or until we receive the assurance that it will come.
The Psalmist says, “I would have fainted, unless I had believed I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of living” (Psalm 27:13). He did not see as yet the Lord’s answer to
his prayers, but he believed to see; and this kept him from fainting. If we have the faith that believes to see, it will keep us from growing discouraged. We shall “laugh at impossibilities,” we shall watch with delight to see how God is going to open up a path through the Red Sea when there is no human way out of our difficulty. It is just in such places of severe testing that our faith grows and strengthens.
Like David, on the one hand we faint because we do not see. On the other, we do not faint
because we believe, and the faith of our heart is just as sure as the sight of our eyes. It is by faith, yes, and the faith of the Son of God within us that will not allow us to faint when we most severely want to. Have you been waiting upon God, during long nights and weary days afraid that you were forgotten? Stop, lift up your head and begin to praise Him for the deliverance which is on its way to you. Do not faint, faith overcomes time, mental and physical exhaustion, it allows us to laugh at impossibilities, because failure is not in God’s
vocabulary. “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1).
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ
- Walk and not faint. (worthwhiletreasure.wordpress.com)
- Prayer Maintenance (jantzika.wordpress.com)
- Pray Without Ceasing (bummyla.wordpress.com)