Debbie Dartt Ministries © 2016
To write an effective blog you sometimes need to be willing to take on controversial topics. And what is more controversial between men and women than nagging? Sorry guys, today’s Biblical Principal is: Nagging Works.
In Luke 11 Jesus’ disciples ask him to teach them how to pray and Jesus proceeds to share what we call the Lord’s prayer. He doesn’t stop there. They don’t just need the words to pray, but the attitude and effort that is required in prayer. He compares prayer with asking a favor of a sleeping friend who doesn’t really want to be inconvenienced with answering their friend’s request, but if it will get them to quit nagging and go away, then they will give their friend what they are asking for. I have to admit that this imagery makes me tilt my head a little and go “hmmmm”. But there it is in Luke 11:5-8. My favorite part is in verse 8 when he says that the request is answered not because he is a friend, but because of what the NIV calls the “shameless audacity” with which the request is made.
Dictionary.com defines audacity as “boldness or daring, especially with confident or arrogant disregard for personal safety, conventional thought or other restrictions.” Now, I am not condoning approaching God with arrogance, but we are commanded in Hebrews 4:16 to approach the throne of grace boldly. Bold is good. Bold is commanded. Bold is required.
Both the NLT and the New King James replace audacity with persistence. Persistence is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.” If we are going to be shamelessly persistent in our prayers, we should expect opposition, that’s where the nagging is needed. In Luke 11 Jesus tells his disciples to keep on asking, keep on seeking, keep on knocking. In doing this they will receive, they will find and the door will open.
I am not a particularly persistent person. I’m sure in many areas of life I give up and settle for, much too easily. I often find myself praying for something and if the answer doesn’t come in what I consider a reasonable time frame, I will shrug my shoulders and say “oh well, I guess it just wasn’t in God’s plan.” But what if I had not been so wishy-washy in my asking? What if I had been audacious and persistent in my prayers? Why am I more willing to nag my husband to get the oil changed, take out the trash or move a piece of furniture than I am to nag God to heal a family member, give me wisdom in raising my children or lead my neighbor to Christ?
What if what I’m praying for were so important that it drove me to my knees daily and I refused to rise from that place until God showed up and answered my prayers? James 5:16 says that there is great power in the prayers of a righteous person and it produces great results.
If you are still a little uncomfortable with the idea that nagging works, next time we’ll talk about the down side of nagging.
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