Does it ever feel like when you are praying to God, you are only repeating yourself? Do you ever feel that you are boring God with the same requests? Do you wonder if you need to pray a second, third, or fourth time, if God already heard you the first time? On one hand, it is true that God does not want to hear simple words rotely recited. As nice as the Lord’s Prayer is, Jesus never intended for it to be a formula robotically intoned, as some do. He said in Matthew 6:7 “When ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” However, on the other hand, Jesus encouraged His disciples to persevere in prayer. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says simply: “Pray without ceasing.”
The most famous passage where Jesus talks about persevering prayer is Luke 18. There He tells the story of a judge who was a corrupt, selfish man. In the parable, a widow woman continually comes to the judge making one request: “Avenge me!” It is the same request over and over again, and eventually the unjust judge says: “Because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me,” and he gives her what she wants. The point of the parable is not to equate God with an unjust, stingy judge, but to point out that if even a wicked unbeliever will relent and give a stranger what she wants, how much more will God give what is needed to His children, if they persevere in prayer?
Jesus says: “Shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily.” It may seem that your request has been a long time coming. You may have prayed about a certain request for years or decades. It may seem that God will never answer, but He always answers in His time, and Jesus gives the assurance that God hears and will answer our prayers.
So keep praying, even if it the same request. Don’t let Satan move you from asking, just because you already have.