Some Bible teachers claim it is unbelief for us to ask God for the same request over and over. No—that is wrong and it has weakened the faith of multitudes. God commands us to ask, seek, fast—and cry out in effectual, earnest supplication (see Matthew 7:7).

From the very beginning, true servants have turned God’s promises into prayers:

  • Jesus knew His Father had promised all things to Him before the foundation of the world, yet Christ still spent hours praying for God’s will to be done on earth. He even told a parable illustrating persistence in prayer. It involved an “importunate widow” who kept demanding justice from a judge until she got it (see Luke 18:1-8). 
  • God gave Ezekiel wonderful prophecies about Israel’s restoration, promising that the nation’s ruins would become as the Garden of Eden. Yet the Lord said His Word would not be fulfilled without prayer: “I will yet for this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them” (Ezekiel 36:37). In other words, “I’ve made you a promise but I want you to pray it to pass. Seek Me with all your heart, until you see it fulfilled. I will deliver—but first you must ask.” 
  • Daniel had read God’s promise to Jeremiah (Daniel 9:2) that after seventy years Israel would be restored. When Daniel saw the appointed year arrive, he could have waited in faith for God to fulfill His promise but instead, that godly man fell on his face and prayed for two weeks—until he saw the Lord bring everything to pass. 

In the Old Testament, Israel’s priest carried on his breastplate the names of all the tribes of Israel. This signified that the people’s needs were continually on the priest’s heart in prayer. To Christians today, this provides a wonderful image of Christ carrying us in His heart and presenting our needs to the Father. Moreover, every Christian today is a priest unto the Lord and we are always to carry the needs of others in our hearts (see James 5:14-16).