“Mew! Mew! Mew!”
When her owner didn’t respond to her pitiful mews for breakfast for at least 30 minutes, Penny Kitty wound up like a siren and pressed her mouth right to the crack under the bedroom door.
“Meowyyyyrrrrlll! Meowyyyrrrlll! MEOWRLL!”
Penny realized that tactic worked just like a megaphone! She kept that up beyond all limits of patience and love. Persistence really packs a wallop when it’s 4:30 in the morning! It got the fur ball the desired effect: the bedroom door opened.
Carol stumbled to the kitchen and headed to the refrigerator, slapping the bowls on the counter and feeding the four-legged family as if she were on auto pilot. By then, she was fully awake.
I would have liked to sleep in on a Saturday. She glared at Penny Kitty.
When it comes to those living in the country with critters, sleeping in, retirement, vacation, or a day off gets a paws, claws, and hooves down–and not just for Carol.
During the summer with windows open, a neighbor’s rooster starts a wake-up call before sunup, but that’s topped by the burro braying who’s hungry. The cattle low. Horses whinny. Meantime, Penny Kitty and the other eager four-legged critters howl at the bedroom door. The message is the same: get up and feed us!
Consider if furry critters as little as eight pounds can commandeer attention with persistence, what more can we do with persistent prayer?
Jesus himself tells the parable of a friend coming to his neighbor at midnight for a loan of three loaves of bread for a guest who has come to visit. Showing hospitality in that culture was the heart of honor and welcome. Not to do so would be a great insult.
So the friend persisted even though it was highly inconvenient for his neighbor to climb over all his children to get to the door in addition to finding and sharing the food. He would certainly be wide awake after that.
“…yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs. So I say to you, Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” [Luke 11:8b-9 NIV]
Persistence in prayer showcases the importance of a request over time. It changes us and fortifies faith. We may get a glimpse of God’s timing in the process.
Do you have examples of the powers of answered prayer in your life? Of course. Many.
In New Mexico history comes the story of the Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe. After great hardship and death of the Mother Superior during the Catholic sisters’ trek across country to Santa Fe, the nuns grew the church to the point it needed a building in the late 1870’s. After the chapel was constructed, the builders told the nuns there was no way to construct a stairway to the choir loft over twenty feet from the floor. The sisters persisted in prayer for a staircase God would provide, for they believed in a God of miracles. He was. He is. He will always be.
The carpenter who showed up did so with a donkey and simple woodworking tools. He built the spiral staircase with 360 degree turns and no visible means of support. After six months, he left with his tools and donkey without pay and without waiting to be thanked. The mystery carpenter was an answer to persistent prayer.
If the nuns of Santa Fe and Penny Kitty both get what they want and need with persistence, what can God do for you when you ask?
[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, www.button-to-god.com. She lives in northeast Arizona with her husband, Ed. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]