kingfisher moments – persevering in prayer

On recent walks along the river by my house, I’ve sometimes caught a glimpse of a kingfisher whizzing past. The brilliant flash of blue and amazing agility leave me speechless, caught in a spontaneous moment of praise.

Sometimes it’s over in a second, but occasionally I am standing in the right place to fully witness the kingfisher’s beauty. However, most of the time I don’t see him at all – even though I know he is still there somewhere.

Common Kingfisher

Common Kingfisher. Used by permission of the Author – J.M.Garg – under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported Licence

Do you experience times of amazing breakthrough in prayer, and then nothing? How quickly we seem to move from a place of overwhelming joy when prayers have been answered so visibly and perfectly, to one where persevering feels hard and fruitless.

But Jesus told his disciples to always pray and never give up (Luke 18:1) – so how can we persevere in prayer?

I find this question a constant challenge but my “kingfisher moments” have been helping me learn a bit more about how to pray persistently.

I never know whether I shall see the kingfisher or not, and even if I do for how long. But every time I walk down by the river, I have a hopeful expectation that I will see him. When I do, it’s always breath-taking but when I don’t, I never give up hoping that I will see him next time.

And this is exactly how I should approach prayer.

I should be hopefully expectant. For Jesus has said to believe and ask in prayer, and it will be granted (Matthew 7:7-9, Luke 11:9-10 and Matthew 21:22). There will be times when breakthrough comes quickly and wonderfully; times when I catch only a glimpse of my prayers being answered; and times when I see no obvious, discernable change (even though God is probably answering them in ways I don’t understand yet).

But whatever the outcome, my prayers should always be dictated by the hope I have in God who has promised that one day he will wipe away every tear (Revelation 21:4).

I know that he will and does cause amazing transformation in response to the passionate prayers of his people at every level from the most personal to the global – I have seen this. If I’m honest though, I find it hard to always hold onto this truth in the light of the scale of some of the things I’m interceding for, or when circumstances don’t change.

But through my experience of waiting for kingfisher moments, never knowing when the next one will come, I have been inspired to hope for the amazing even if all I can see now is the normal.

God is always there, always listening, always acting. He will answer my prayers – for me, for my friends and family, for the nations – and when he does the results will be beautiful, even if they are hidden from my sight or happen in ways I don’t expect.

In the meantime, I wait, hope and persevere.

Jill Andrews

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