Should We Repeat Prayers Which Are Requested or Just Pray Once?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Hi, K​____​,

Thank you for your questions concerning prayer. Your question gives me the opportunity to point out the biblical truth; that while God makes us to “err from His ways”, He can and He does yet require us to repent and return to Him with an importunate and humble spirit:

Ecc 1:13 I applied my heart to inquiring and exploring by wisdom concerning all that is done under the heavens: it is an experience of evil Elohim has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it. (CLV)

Isa 63:17  O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.

You asked:

So, yes, we “are… to believe that the Lord heard… and His will is being done.” But knowing that does not mean that we are not to repeatedly importune the Lord for our needs which is the very point of the parable of the importunate widow.

You may already know that parable, but it doesn’t hurt to reread that parable from our Lord’s own mouth:

Luk 18:1  And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
Luk 18:2  Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
Luk 18:3  And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
Luk 18:4  And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
Luk 18:5  Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
Luk 18:6  And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
Luk 18:7  And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
Luk 18:8  I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Notice also that Paul “cease[d] not… making mention in [his] prayer that… God… [would give unto [the Ephesians] the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of [Christ and His Father].

Eph 1:15  Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
Eph 1:16  Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 
Eph 1:17  That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him.

Anyone who has ever had a child with a very high fever knows that it simply is not possible to make a one-time petition for healing and then just put that child out of mind and wait for God to heal that poor suffering baby. I know because I have reared five children and have been that ‘importunate widow’ for every one of them. My children are all grown now and are all married and on their own, but I still petition my heavenly Father for His mercy upon my children according to His will, every time they come to my mind.

So even though the Lord has all of our days already “written in [His] book”, we are still told, “work out your own salvation”. Why are we told to work our our own salvation? The answer we are given is “For it is God that works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure”:

Php 2:12  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Php 2:13  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Those scriptures are telling us that the will to petition Him and the action of doing so are both “of the Lord”:

Pro 16:1  The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.

You go on to say:

You sure have that right! “Babylon’s teaching on prayer is not what prayer really is”, both because of their “vain repetitions” of ritualistic prayers, and because  of their inability to see the words “thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven” right here in His instructions to us on how we are to pray:

Mat 6:9  After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Mat 6:10  Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Any and every prayer which is prayed with the words “Thy will be done” included in it will be and is answered for this simple reason:

Eph 1:11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

Whatever happens on this earth happens “after the counsel of His own will”. Even when we turn the sovereign grace of God into lasciviousness, that also is “after the counsel of His own will”. We are all a work in progress, and when the Lord is finished with us, we will all “be conformed to the image of His Son”:

Rom 8:29  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

If we are seeking only His will in our prayers, then we will simply be speaking our “wish [or] desire toward… Christ”.

The apostle John repeats Christ’s words in Mat 6:9-10 in these words:

1Jn 5:14  And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

The Lord is not a hip-​pocket genie we can order around to get what we want. Rather, we are marred vessels in His hand (Jer 18:4) doing what He had “written in our books… before the world began”.

Psa 139:16  Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance; And in thy book they were all written, Even the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was none of them. (ASV)

2Ti 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Tit 1:2  In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; 

In conclusion, there is nothing unscriptural about being importunate about “praying without ceasing… that… the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him” or for our children’s healing, or for anyone’s healing, but always with the caveat “If it be according to His will”.

1Th 5:16  Rejoice evermore.
1Th 5:17  Pray without ceasing.

“Pray without ceasing” is not an admonition to quit your job so you can pray all day. Prayer should actually be nothing more than seeking “thy will be done” in all things all day every day. In other words, praying without ceasing is a submissive state of mind toward Christ and His Father.

I hope this gives you a little more of the mind of Christ on the subject of prayer. As you concluded:

Amen!​ That means so much to our Lord because He said:

Psa 107:21  Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Psa 107:22  And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.

Your grateful brother, Mike

Other related posts