“pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
As we seek to “pray without ceasing,” some may be concerned with the appropriateness of praying for something more than once. In addition to Jesus’ example in the garden of Gethsemane, we can also look for guidance on this subject in the form of a parable Jesus once shared with His disciples….
“Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: ‘There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’
Then the Lord said, ‘Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:1-8).
In considering this passage, we should remember that a parable represents a brief story that illustrates a spiritual truth or moral lesson. Therefore, this portion of Scripture should provide us with confidence in bringing our needs before God as often as necessary.
We should also be mindful of Jesus’ message from Matthew 7:7: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (NIV). The word “knock” refers to the plural act of “knocking” on a door in the original language of that passage. This reflects a standard practice for anyone who seeks entry to a place with a closed door.
You see, people rarely knock once when a door is closed to them. Instead, most people knock multiple times so those inside will know that someone desires to enter. In fact, people will often continue to knock at a door until someone answers, especially if they suspect someone is home. In a similar manner, we can say that “God is always home” when we approach Him through faith in Christ. If we have have a need, we should continue to knock in prayer until the door opens to us and the answer arrives.