The Power of Persistent Prayer

By Ruth Bell Graham   •   January 5, 2011   •   Topics:

The center of power, it has been said, is not found in summit meetings or in peace conferences. It is found when children of God pray for God’s will to be done in their lives, in their homes and in the world around them.

We cannot pray and remain the same. We cannot pray and have our homes remain the same. We cannot pray and have the world around us remain the same. God has decreed to act in response to prayer. He commands us to ask. And Satan trembles for fear we will.

We need to start where we are, as we are. We can start with whatever concerns us, with whatever is lying most heavily on our hearts, whatever is irritating or frustrating us. Be pointed. Be persistent. Be patient. But pray.

When we were growing up in China, bandits kidnapped the two children of our hospital business manager. The bandits held the children for ransom, but it was against mission policy to pay ransoms.

Everyone—missionaries, Chinese friends, co-workers, even we children—prayed. In a few weeks the children were returned—without ransom—a thing unheard of in China at the time.

Also, when I was a child, there was a man named Ma Er who helped our family. The man had gone AWOL from the Chinese army, which found him and cut off his ears. Ma Er was not a Christian. When I left China to go to boarding school in North Korea, Ma Er’s name was on my prayer list. Years later I learned that my prayers had been answered—Ma Er had given his heart to the Lord Jesus and had become a sincere believer.

Be pointed. Be persistent. Be patient. But pray.

Adapted by permission from “Legacy of a Pack Rat,” by Ruth Bell Graham.

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  1. Nicole says:

    I am grateful for the Graham family as a whole, you know it is very rare to see such a strong passion to serve God in one family….you guys are my inspiration for my own family's relationship with God!! Prayer is powerful!!!

  2. Teddy oheje says:

    I thank God for this message. I am praying patiently.

  3. Mary says:

    Thank you for the emphasizing on Prayer. I gave my life to Christ hearing to Billy Graham crusade in TV and that day onwards i am on my toes in building prayer partners, have various prayer groups among women and this article is very encouraging.

  4. Argena says:

    Thank you for these words of encouragement. many times I see that I pray but nothing happens, but yes, God help me to persist. Amen. Greetings from Hungary

  5. Sharon says:

    I remember when my Mother had this book in her kitchen, she loved reading Ruth's books. I do believe my mother was a partner prayer warrior along with Ruth and so many other Godly women and men. Thank you for your legacy and for pointing us to Christ

  6. osoba says:

    just before I opened this message, I was totally down up to the point where I felt God has removed my name from His memory but as I read this article, I'm again full of hope and with the assurance that I am inscribe in the power of His hands. It is a timely message for me- be pointed, persist, patient but pray. I'm blessed by this.

  7. Jane says:

    This is exactly what we needed to hear. Thank you for sharing it. I need to get on my knees to HIM.

  8. Bola says:

    This is a very timely message for me as my prayer life has gone down but have been encouraged by the word and i know as i have decided to go back to a place of prayer miraculous things will birth in my home and in my husbands live.

  9. Karla says:

    I thank you so much for this courageous words! Blessings from Mexico

  10. Eugenia says:

    This message is just what I needed today. My husband, Leon, was removed from his job for standing up for others at work. We have been trying to recover. We know God is good and has a plan for our lives as we pray for a financial blessing. Satan is trying to convince us God doesn't care. We will continue to pray persistently and patiently. To JL, I say don't let the contractor steal your joy and peace. Pray on it, cast your burden on the Lord and let it go. This is what we did concerning my husband's former boss. God can take care of it.