I am sure we have all had prayers that we felt were not being answered. I can think of some things that I have prayed for for many years that do not seem like they are being answered. I know of mothers who have prayed many, many years for the child's salvation. Even though they know they raised them up in the church and in a christian home they are not seeing their children submit to God. Proverbs 22: 6, "Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it." And I always add, sadly, "and it may not be in the mother's lifetime." But that does not mean we can quit praying. If we have faith in God's Word then we continue to pray.
I have had things happen that were so unfair that I have prayed about. Only God can bring about justice in a corrupt world so we must continue to pray and not give up. God can bring miraculous justice in a corrupt world. God can bring miraculous healing in a sick world. When we do not get our answer immediately we start thinking God is not answering. We begin to lose hope and give up the prayers.
Luke 18: 1-7 tells of the parable of the persistent widow. "Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. He said: 'In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ 'For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care what people think, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!' And the Lord said, 'Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?'"
This is one of the few parables in which Jesus gives us the answer so we do not miss the whole point to the parable. He tells us in verse 1, "Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up." Jesus tells us to pray, pray, pray! Jesus knew that we are weak and while waiting for His return, we would be prone to lose heart and quit praying. We are told in 1 Thessalonians 5: 17, "pray continually,..." We should pray at all times. Apostle Paul told us to pray continuously - pray without ceasing.
Jesus modeled for us the kind of prayer life we should live. Jesus regularly prayed. He was born without sin and He still prayed. You know with our fleshly desires we need to pray! He prayed as the Holy Spirit descended on Him at His baptism. Luke 3: 21, "When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened..."
He would slip away from crowds into the wilderness to pray. Luke 5: 16, "But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed." If Jesus needed to find a quiet place to pray don't we? He even spent a whole night in prayer before He called the twelve disciples. Luke 6: 12, "One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God."
On the night before the cross, Jesus prayed for Peter and prayed that his faith would not fail. He agonized fervently in prayer, sweating drops of blood. Luke 22: 32, "One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God."
Praying without ceasing does not mean that we must be offering some kind of formal prayer every moment of every day. It means throughout the day we should encounter situations as they come to our mind that need attention and submit them to God in prayer. If you want to have this spontaneous walk with God where you just chat with Him throughout the day then you need to have a set time committed to pray. Psalm 55: 17, "Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress,..." God is already there. Will you meet Him?