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Importunate Prayer ( 34 )
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Quotations from the writings of Ellen G. White with the phrase . . .
 
importunate  Prayer
Related Phrase:   importunate prayers  ( 14 )
The season of distress and anguish before us will require a faith that can endure weariness, delay, and hunger -- a faith that will not faint though severely tried. The period of probation is granted to all to prepare for that time. Jacob prevailed because he was persevering and determined. His victory is an evidence of the power of importunate prayer. All who will lay hold of God's promises, as he did, and be as earnest and persevering as he was, will succeed as he succeeded. Those who are unwilling to deny self, to agonize before God, to pray long and earnestly for His blessing, will not obtain it. Wrestling with God -- how few know what it is! How few have ever had their souls drawn out after God with intensity of desire until every power is on the stretch. When waves of despair which no language can express sweep over the suppliant, how few cling with unyielding faith to the promises of God.    Great Controversy, page 621.2
 
 
When these councils meet, a few words of formal prayer are offered; but the hearts of those present are not brought into harmony with God by earnest, importunate prayer, offered in living faith, in a humble and contrite spirit. If the trustees divorce themselves from the God of wisdom and power, they cannot preserve that high-souled integrity in dealing with their fellow men which God requires. Without divine wisdom, their own spirit will be woven into the decisions they make. If these men are not in communication with God, Satan will surely be one in their councils and will take advantage of their unconsecrated state. Acts of injustice will be done, because God is not presiding. The Spirit of Christ must be an abiding, controlling power over the heart and mind.  {5T 560.1}
 
 
When we are burdened, when we are pressed with temptation, when the feelings and desires of the natural heart are contending for the victory, we should offer up fervent, importunate prayer to our heavenly Father in the name of Christ, and this will bring Jesus to our help, so that through His all-powerful and efficacious name we may gain the victory and banish Satan from our side. But we should not flatter ourselves that we are safe while we make but feeble efforts in our own behalf.... "Strive {agonize} to enter in at the strait gate"  (Luke 13: 24).  {TMK 269.2}
 
We are not left alone in this work. We are laborers together with God, in partnership with divine resources. The Lord has agencies that he will put in operation in answer to the importunate prayer of faith. He will fulfill his word, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." The Captain of our salvation is on every field of battle where truth is waging war against error. The truth which we profess offers the highest encouragement to the most devoted self-denial and persevering effort that mortal energies can bestow. We should have the courage of heroes, and the faith of martyrs.  {HS 294.5}
 
You are safe only as you trust in God. We have a vigilant foe to contend against. . . . He {Christ} saw that it was not possible for man to overcome the powerful foe in his own strength, therefore He came in person from the courts of heaven and bore in behalf of man the test that Adam failed to endure.... Christ overcame Satan, making it possible for man to overcome on his own behalf in the name of Christ. But the victory can only be gained in Christ's name, through His grace. When burdened, when pressed with temptation, when the feelings and desires of the natural heart are clamoring for the victory, earnest, fervent, importunate prayer in the name of Christ brings Jesus to your side as a helper, and through His name you gain the victory and Satan is vanquished....  {OHC 25.2}
 
One man, when the church in Scotland was making some resolutions to compromise the faith, to concede their staunch principles, was determined never to yield a jot or tittle. He went upon his knees before God and thus pleaded, "Give me Scotland or I die." His importunate prayer was heard. Oh, that the earnest prayer of faith may arise everywhere, Give me souls buried now in the rubbish of error, or I die! Bring them to the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus.  {TDG 171.4}
 
There is hope for man. Christ says, "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne" (Rev. 3:21).  But let us never forget that the efforts we make in our own strength are utterly worthless. Our strength is weakness; our judgment foolishness. Only in the name and strength of our Conqueror can we conquer. When we are pressed with temptation, when un-christlike desires clamor for the mastery, let us offer fervent, importunate prayer to the heavenly Father, in the name of Christ. This will bring divine aid. In the Redeemer's name we may gain the victory. {YRP 358.2}  {ST, October 29, 1902 par. 5}  {ST, January 12, 1915 par. 7}
 
When we are burdened, when we are pressed with temptation, when the feelings and desires of the natural heart are contending for the victory, we should offer up fervent, importunate prayer to our Heavenly Father in the name of Christ; and this will bring Jesus to our help, so that, through his all-powerful and efficacious name, we may gain the victory and banish Satan from our side. But we should not flatter ourselves that we are safe while we make but feeble efforts in our own behalf. The words of Christ should have weight with us: "Strive [agonize] to enter in at the strait gate; for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able." (Luke 13: 24)  {RH, February 5, 1895 par. 2}
 
We need the vitalizing power of the Spirit, -- the strong cry of a church travailing to bring forth souls. There is need of more earnest wrestling with God for the impartation of the Holy Spirit. Eager, earnest, importunate prayer is needed. There is efficiency in prayer. In answer to fervent prayer, God can turn the thoughts and hearts of men as he turns the waters of the sea.  {RH, December 30, 1902 par. 8}  {RH, April 11, 1912 par. 14}
 
Too often parents feel that they have no time for morning and evening prayer. In the morning the workmen must be hurried into the field, that the greatest amount of labor may be performed, and the service of God is not considered essential. They cannot spare a few minutes to be spent in thanksgiving to God for his abundant mercies,-- for the blessed sunshine and the showers of rain, which cause vegetation to flourish, and for the guardianship of holy angels. They have no time to offer importunate prayer for divine help and guidance, and for the abiding presence of Jesus in the household. They go forth to labor as the ox or horse goes, without one thought of God or Heaven. They have souls so precious that rather than permit them to be hopelessly lost, the Son of God gave his life to ransom them from the power of the grave; but they have no more appreciation of his great goodness than have the beasts that perish.  {ST, July 3, 1884 par. 8}
 
In thus becoming a suppliant, a mighty petitioner, seeking from his Father fresh supplies of strength, he identified himself with our needs and our weaknesses. As he is our example in all things, so he became a brother in our infirmities, but not a companion in our sins. His nature recoiled from evil, and in a sinful world he endured anguish and torture of soul. If the Saviour of men, with his divine strength, felt the need of prayer, how much more should feeble, sinful mortals feel the necessity of prayer, fervent, constant, importunate prayer!  {ST, February 10, 1887 par. 11}
 
Love for souls that Christ had will lead the minister to pray most earnestly for divine grace; will lead to importunate prayer. There is altogether too much sermonizing and too little ministering. We must work in wisdom; work with hearts imbued with the love of Jesus. Men without one particle of grace may preach a discourse, but men without grace will not be inclined to weep and to pray and seek to lead souls to the Lamb of God. It is this kind of labor the people need.  {21MR 201.2}
 
Importunate Prayer   In coming to God the prayer of importunity should be offered, "I will not let thee go except thou bless me." You are invited to spread out all your perplexities before the Lord; but do not gratify the enemy by pouring them into the minds of others, lest they stumble over them to their ruin. Jesus knows how to cure all the maladies of the soul. When we beseech the Lord to pity us in our weakness and distress, to guide us by his Holy Spirit, that we may understand his word, he will no more turn away from the prayer of the humble suppliant than the parent will turn away from the hungry child who comes to him for bread. When you turn away from the broken cistern that can hold no water, and in the name of Jesus, your Advocate, come directly to God, asking for the things you need, difficulties will disappear, the righteousness of Christ will be revealed as your righteousness, the virtue of Christ as your virtue. You will then understand that justification can come alone through faith in Christ; for in Jesus is revealed the perfection of the character of God; in his life is the revelation of the genuine principle of true holiness. Through the atoning blood of Christ, the sinner is set free from bondage and condemnation; through the perfection of the sinless Substitute and Surety, he may run in the race of humble obedience to all of God's commandments. Without Christ he is under the condemnation of the law, always a sinner, but through faith in Christ he is made just before God, and loving God, he keeps his commandments, and realizes through an experimental knowledge that the Father loves him, and takes up his abode with him.  {ST, August 22, 1892 par. 6}
 
See also Parable of Unjust Judge -  Luke 18: 1 - 10
The judge yielded to the widow's request merely because of selfishness, that he might be relieved of her importunity. How different is God's attitude in regard to prayer! Our heavenly Father may not seem to respond immediately to the prayers and appeals of His people; but He never turns from them indifferently. In this parable and the parable of the man rising at midnight to supply his friend's necessity, that the friend might minister to a needy, wayfaring man, we are taught that God hears our prayers. Too often we think that our petitions are unheard, and we cherish unbelief, distrusting God when we should claim the promise, "Ask, and it shall be given you seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." Let us draw the instruction that we should from these parables. The Lord is our judge; He is our lawgiver. We give evidence of the strong ground of our confidence in God by importunate prayer, combined with good works. But faith without works is dead, being alone.  {ST, September 15, 1898 par. 5}
 
There should be a watchcare lest the busy activities of life, the accumulating business, should so engross the workers that it would lead them to neglect prayer when the strength it would give them is most needed. Here comes in all the evils, because they deprive their souls of the strength and wisdom of heaven which is waiting their demand upon it. We need that illumination which God alone can give, and we are unfitted to transact business unless we have this wisdom. There are a few words of prayer uttered at the commencement of the meetings, but the heart is not brought into sympathy and harmony with God by earnest, importunate prayer, offered by broken hearts and contrite spirits, in living faith. If they divorce themselves from the God of wisdom and power, they can not preserve that high integrity in dealing with their fellow men which God requires. Without divine wisdom, the objectionable traits of their characters will be woven into the decisions they make. And if these men are not in communication with God, Satan will just as surely be one in their councils, and take advantage of their unconsecrated state in their decisions. There will be acts of injustice because God is not presiding in their councils. The spirit of Christ must be an abiding, controlling power over the hearts and mind. In the world the god of traffic is the god of fraud. It must not be so with those who are dealing with God's cause. The worldly principle and standard is not to be the standard of those who are connected with sacred things.  {PC 369.2}
 
 
 the  power  of  importunate  prayer
 
Jacob prevailed because he was persevering and determined. His experience testifies to the power of importunate prayer. It is now that we are to learn this lesson of prevailing prayer, of unyielding faith. The greatest victories to the church of Christ or to the individual Christian are not those that are gained by talent or education, by wealth or the favor of men. They are those victories that are gained in the audience chamber with God, when earnest, agonizing faith lays hold upon the mighty arm of power.  Patriarchs and Prophets, page  203.1
 
 
The season of distress and anguish before us will require a faith that can endure weariness, delay, and hunger -- a faith that will not faint, though severely tried. The period of probation is granted to all to prepare for that time. Jacob prevailed because he was persevering and determined. His victory is an evidence of the power of importunate prayer. All who will lay hold of God's promises, as he did, and be as earnest and persevering as he was, will succeed as he succeeded. Those who are unwilling to deny self, to agonize before God, to pray long and earnestly for His blessing, will not obtain it.  {RC 371.5}
 
 
Power in Importunate Prayer -- Jacob prevailed because he was persevering and determined. His experience testifies to the power of importunate prayer. It is now that we are to learn this lesson of prevailing prayer, of unyielding faith. The greatest victories to the church of Christ or to the individual Christian, are not those that are gained by talent or education, by wealth, or the favor of men. They are those victories that are gained in the audience chamber with God, when earnest, agonizing faith lays hold upon the mighty arm of power.  {CM 81.3}   {RH, January 14, 1902 par. 19}  {1NL 132.7}
 
From the experience of Jacob we may learn the power of importunate prayer. [Read Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 196, 197.]  {1NL 132.6}
 
From the experience of Jacob we may learn the power of importunate prayer. On his way to meet Esau, Jacob sent his family across the river Jabbok, while he alone remained behind. He had decided to spend the night in prayer, and he desired to be alone with God.  {RH, January 14, 1902 par. 14}
 
See also:    importunity   - -  importunate widow   - -
 
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