When His disciples asked Him, “Lord, teach us to pray” in Luke 11, Jesus’ instructions addressed two essential areas—the verbal component (vv. 2-4) and the spiritual component (vv. 5-13) of prayer. To engage in genuine prayer, both components are essential.
Prayer is neither a magical incantation of prescribed words recited mindlessly by rote, nor is it a casual address which lacks such spiritual ingredients as reverence, submissiveness, consecration, trust, humility, and a passionate desire for spiritual victory.
To illustrate the spiritual component of prayer, Jesus used a unique word in verse 8—“importunity” (KJV)/“persistence” (NKJV). It is at the very heart of God’s definition of prayer. To God, prayer is communicating with Him out of a desperate sense of need which results in reverent shamelessness and extreme boldness before God’s Sovereign throne.
There was a great sense of importunity and urgency in David’s prayer that is recorded in Psalm 142. Here, David states, “I cry out to the Lord with my voice; with my voice to the Lord I make my supplication. I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble” (vv. 1-2).
“I cry out…I make my supplication…I pour out my complaint…I declare my trouble.”
It’s the dynamic motivation of genuine prayer.
How importunistic are you?