Adapted from How to Pray by R. A. Torrey
Luke 18:1-8
God delights in the holy boldness that will not take “no” for an answer. It is an expression of great faith, and nothing pleases God more than faith. Jesus seemed to put the Syro-Phoenician woman away almost with rudeness, but she would not be put away. Jesus looked upon her shamelessness with pleasure and said, “Woman, your faith is great! Let what you want be done for you” (Matt. 15:28). God does not always let us get things at our first effort. He trains us and makes us strong in prayer by compelling us to pray hard for the best things. He makes us pray through.

I am glad that this is so. There is no more blessed training in prayer than that that comes through being compelled to ask again and again and again even through a long period of years before one obtains what he seeks from God. Many people call it submission to the will of God when God does not grant them their requests at the first or second asking, and they say, “Well, perhaps it is not God’s will.”

As a rule this is not submission but spiritual laziness. We do not call it submission to the will of God when we give up after one or two efforts to obtain things by action; we call it lack of strength of character. When the strong man of action starts out to accomplish a thing, if he does not accomplish it the first, or second or one-hundredth time, he keeps hammering away until he does accomplish it. The strong man of prayer when he starts to pray for a thing keeps on praying until he prays it through and obtains what he seeks. We should be careful about what we ask from God, but when we do begin to pray for a thing we should never give up praying for it until we get it or until God makes it very clear and very definite to us that it is not His will to give it.

Some would have us believe that it shows unbelief to pray twice for the same thing, that we should “take it” the first time that we ask. Doubtless, there are times when we are able through faith in the Word or the leading of the Holy Spirit to claim the first time that which we have asked of God, but beyond question, there are other times when we must pray again and again and again for the same thing before we get our answer. Those who have gotten beyond praying twice for the same thing have gotten beyond their Master (Matt. 26:44). One of the great needs of the present day is men and women who will not only start out to pray for things but pray on and on and on until they obtain what they seek from the Lord.