The Power of Persistent Prayer: Transform Your Christian Life With This Special Weapon (Luke 1:5-13)
Want to learn Luke’s special weapon, helping Christians like you, become more powerful than action heroes like James Bond?
This post is inspired by my Livestream (I’ll leave below for you to watch).
You will discover, how you can use this weapon, by looking at Luke 1:5-13.
My mission is to show you how to protect yourself. And stop you misusing this weapon (the way most Christians do).
Firstly, you need to avoid mistakes most Christians make.
Let’s begin by looking at 2 quick church stories.
Big Mistake #1: Playing The Wrong Game
Story 1: The Battle Between Flesh and Spirit
A few weeks ago I was at church, when my pastor was speaking about Galatians.
He mentioned a specific verse.
Galatians 5:16-17: “Walk in the spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh, for the flesh lusteth against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh…”
It goes on to tell you, flesh and spirit are enemies.
You see many times, when Christians hear this particular weapon, they find themselves stumbling. This is because they’re playing the wrong game.
There have been many times in the past where, as a Christian, I’m saying to myself, “you know what the Bible says. How Christians are supposed to act.“
The Bible shows us the power Christians are supposed to walk in. And the blessings we receive in Christ. (Ephesians 1)
But so many times, I found myself, walking to the world…
Looking to the world!
There’s a battle between the flesh and the Spirit. And many times, as you walk in the flesh, Do not be surprised when you struggle in so many different ways.
I sure did!
It is simply because you are not doing the things, a Christian is supposed to do.
Story 2: Unfounded Fear and Foolishness
Another day in church, my pastor spoke of about a different verse.
There’s times I’ve wanted to do something I believed I was supposed to do: something for God’s kingdom. But afraid of how unbelievers would look at me.
Also afraid of how some Christians would look at me.
What my pastor said about this verse in 1 Corinthians, gave me a different perspective.
1st Corinthians 1:18: “For the preaching of the cross is to them perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” (KJV)
When I heard this verse in church, it dawned on me.
What people may consider foolish, are things supposed to empower you.
These are things supposed to enrich you. And give us more power as Christians.
Playing The Wrong Game
When you think about the 2 passages I’ve shared. The 2 quick stories. It’s easy to see how many Christians are playing the wrong game.
This is particularly true when it comes to using the weapon Luke shows us.
We find ourselves looking at what the world is doing, and how the world is reacting to what we’re doing.
We shy away and say no, to doing those things, when in fact, the things the Bible teaches us to do, are things we need to lean into more and more.
Luke is sharing a weapon with Christians.
It can make you more powerful than any action hero you grew up watching!
But why do so many Christians miss it so many times?
It’s because we are playing the wrong game.
We are not going to God to get empowered.
We are looking for ways the flesh, the world, and mankind teach us.
The armour of God
I was meditating on the passages we are going to cover in this post.
One day it just hit me: “Luke is sharing a weapon”!
I said to myself, this truly is a weapon.
I did worry this was just clickbait…
Until a famous passage dropped in my spirit.
And reminded me I am not the first person to speak in this sort of language.
Ephesians 6: 13-18 which talks about the whole armour of God.
After Paul outlines this armour of God, he goes on to say this in verse 18, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;“
If you want to be powerful as a Christian, you need to focus on walking in the Spirit of God. I focus on this heavily in my book Israel Ikhinmwin. Walk In The Spirit.
It’s a command all over the New Testament.
I’ve given you 2 big warnings, 2 mistakes I’ve made in the past. And practically, 2 big mistakes I don’t want you to make any further.
I want to now share Luke’s special weapon.
We’re going to be looking at Luke 1: 5-13.
And what we’re going to be talking about is The Power of Persistent Prayer!
Luke 1: 5-13: The Power of Persistent Prayer!
Wait! The power of persistent prayer? What weapon is this?
I need you to think back to what we discussed earlier in this post.
Many times, we are focused on the world, but when you start to focus more on the Spiritual things of God, things get better.
And how it will change for you.
What Luke shares with us in this post, has the capability and power to transform your life.
*Note.* This post is a part of a series. Below I will link to the series.
Either way, this post will be a blessing as a stand-alone post for you, even if you have not gone through other parts of this series on the Gospel of Luke.
The 7 P’s Roadmap
I have been using the 7P’s framework to explain Luke’s Gospel in this series. Here is a breakdown of what these P’s stand for:
- The first P is the person. Who is Luke?
- The second P is the period. When was it written?
- The third P is the party. Who was it written to?
- The fourth P is the peculiarities. What special items are in Luke’s gospel?
- The fifth P is the potency. Was Luke actually writing scripture?
- The sixth P is the problems. Were there any potential problems or challenges?
- The seventh P is positivity. Can we trust it? What positivity is it supposed to give us?
For this post, we will focus on the fourth p – peculiarity.
The special item in Luke’s Gospel is Prayer.
Dr. Donald Guthrie says in his book Dr. Donald Guthrie. New Testament Introduction. Page 105
Remember the backdrop of armoury.
We’re in a war, and as Christians, we need to realize very quickly this is a battle.
We need to put on the armour, and be empowered by persistent prayer.
You have already learned 1 of the mistakes Christians make: playing the wrong game.
There is more!
Big Mistake #2: Prayer Is Not A Sprint
Most Christians think of prayer as a sprint. It is a marathon. It’s not a 100m sprint. It’s actually a marathon.
As a Christian, the segment in Luke we’re going to look at in this post is going to start to set you up, to showcase your need to enter the marathon.
Do not go playing the wrong game, playing by the wrong rules.
Part of the problem many Christians have is they are focused on the wrong game, and on the wrong rules.
We need to transition from this if we are to see great results.
Our previous teaching in this Luke series ended at Luke 1:4. We saw Luke outlining why he wrote the Gospel. He wanted you to have certainty.
He said in verse 4, “I’m writing this you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.”
There are 2 things I want you to focus on throughout this post.
Firstly, Luke wrote this Gospel account so you could have certainty of the things it teaches you about Jesus.
Secondly, it gives you certainty on the accounts he is sharing with you.
Those are the same things which give you certainty in your own faith.
If you start following what the people did in the narrative of this Gospel, you will get similar results.
Through the Gospel of Luke 1:5-13, we will showcase how this spiritual weapon of Persistent Prayer can transform your life.
We’re also going to see a prime example in the scripture. Let’s read through these 9 verses and begin to break them down!
My Dining Table Revelation
I was sitting at my dining table one afternoon and a scripture came to mind.
Luke 18: The Parable Of The Prayerful Widow
A thought came to mind, “If you don’t pray every day about the things you want to change in life, don’t be surprised if God doesn’t answer those prayers.“
This parable transformed me.
I made a decision. I said to myself going forward. The things I am praying about, I will NEVER GIVE UP PRAYING on.
If I’m going to receive the same thing the widow woman did (answered prayer)…according to what Jesus said in Luke Chapter 18, I need to do exactly what she did.
This decision transformed my life.
Luke does make a dedicated effort to speak about prayer in a way no other gospel account does.
This means, as Christians, we need to focus more on Prayer, if we desire transformation in our lives.
Let us break down each verse in our post today. We can see his secret weapon is the Power of Persistent Prayer.
Verse1: Luke 1:5
King Herod received the title or the name Herod The Great because of all of the glorious buildings and construction he supervised.
For Christians and Israelites, the main thing was his refurbishment and rebuiling the Temple in Jerusalem.
History teaches us, Herod was evil and shrewd.
This brings us to the other mistake Christians make.
Big Mistake #3: The Evil Ruler
Many Christians play the wrong game.
1 other mistake we make is blaming the evil king.
Let’s use Herod for illustration.
Herod was a ruler who was wicked.
He had trust issues, which lead to killing loved ones.
He was very shrewd as well.
But this didn’t stop a priest, Zechariah and his wife Elizabeth from praying.
Even though they had an evil ruler in power, someone they disagreed with, they continued to thrive.
This is something we as Christians have to learn.
Zechariah was John the Baptist’s father.
Elizabeth was a daughter of Aaron, who again, was a priest.
This means John was from a priestly heritage from both sides.
Remember, it was the priests who anointed kings in the Bible.
And as we shall see, John will become very significant regarding Jesus (The King).
Verse 2: Luke 1:6
Zechariah and Elizabeth seem sinless. Why does this scripture portray them this way? Did they have any downsides?
Somebody like Zechariah or Elizabeth at the time, could be categorised as blameless or perfect.
Not because they never sinned, but because they were in the right standing with regards to the law.
For example, when they wronged somebody, they made sure they gave an offering – a trespass sin offering to God. Or sometimes people seem sinless, because the Bible has not revealed their sin yet.
As Christians, if you continue to say what God says, you have nothing to worry about.
If you continue to do the things God tells you to do as a child of God, you have nothing to worry about.
Persistent prayer is going to help you lean in, just like Zechariah and Elizabeth were leaning in.
Verse 3: Luke 1:7
Here is the thing, Elizabeth was barren, and both Elizabeth and Zechariah were advanced in age.
Lesson: Situations not so good, can also befall righteous people. How you react to them is what is most significant.
Every Christian is going to face obstacles. You will face struggles.
You will face fears, anxiety, stress, and things anyone can face.
But how you react to them is what makes the difference.
Big Mistake #4: Why Christians Fail
A couple of years ago I was overweight. See photo below.
I cringe looking at pictures like this. I ask myself, Israel how did you allow yourself to look like this for so many years?
This was about the time of the dining table revelation I told you above. I had a problem with gluttony (among other things).
Six months down the line, this was me in the photo below:
I did not use weights. This was all the power of persistent prayer.
I did not pray to God to give me a six-pack. This is the mistake so many Christians make.
I’ve made this mistake in the past and I’ll show you exactly what it is.
Many Christians play the wrong game, play by the wrong rules, and play like the world.
God doesn’t care about a six-pack. Do Not say, God, I pray for a six-pack in Jesus name, Amen.
Like the widow woman, I persistently prayed and in context of the Bible.
My Prayer was:
Lord, help me with my food decisions so I don’t give myself over to gluttony.
Lord, help me be disciplined as a child of God.
Lord, help me to make the right decisions so I can be an example for my children who are coming after me.
Lord, help me be a leader in my house so I can be the best leader possible.
Lord, help me execute the things I’m doing in the ministry to the best of my ability with the most energy and in the most healthy way.
Lord, help me go about my day in wisdom not in foolishness.
Lord, help me be aware of the traps of the enemy which
stopped me from moving forward.
Lord, help me as we go out to shop and buy food into the house, so we can make wise decisions.
Lord, help me be an example, not only to my household, but to people on the outside.
Lord, help me be a living testimony of your goodness like I’m doing today, in Jesus name, Amen.
Most of us pray the wrong way!
When you start praying the way we are supposed to pray as Christians, and according to the rules of the game, you will get results, guaranteed!
We’re not supposed to pray the way the world prays.
The world will be showcasing to men six-packs.
It shows women all of these “perfectly shaped women“.
Those are the rules of the world. And the way of the world!
What do you think God’s going to do in those situations, when you start playing by the rules God sets up for you?
God will answer your prayer. This is the Power of Persistent Prayer!
This was not a tangent. But an example of the problem Elizabeth and Zechariah had.
*Note*, God wants married people to have children.
I bring this up because Elizabeth and Zechariah had the power, to Biblically Pray for God to bless them with a baby. The overwhelming view in the Bible is married couples should have children.
**I break this down more in the livestream at 38:44**
Verse 4: Luke 1:8
Do you sometimes keep praying about something and it’s not happening quick enough?
Or it’s not happening the way you want it to?
Do you feel like God is not answering you in any way shape or form?
Most of us start slacking off.
When there are things you want the Lord to do for you, yet you’re struggling, and feeling weak, those are the times you should be moving closer to God.
Based on the rules of the game we should be playing, we should be leaning in.
We should be praying more, fasting more, fellowshipping more, reading God’s word more. And seeking God more than ever before.
Zechariah continued with service.
He didn’t slack off.
He continued to work diligently like a wise person.
Verse 5: Luke 1:9
Casting lots in the Old Testament (and even the New Testament), was something very special.
It was the way Israelites communed and conversed with God.
It wasn’t the only way. But it was 1 way for God to speak, and choose them.
Zechariah was chosen by lot. This is Luke’s way of showcasing to us God specifically chose Zechariah to do this specific task.
The powerful thing about this particular task was, this was a once-in-a-lifetime task.
The task to burn incense. To offer the incense, was typically done once in your lifetime.
It was the most significant part of the daily ministration in the temple.
Here are some things to consider based on this scripture:
The Lord chooses those who are in the game.
You have to be in the game to be chosen by God.
You can’t be on the sidelines, or on the outside.
Understand every child of God is chosen for something special. But you won’t know what you’re chosen for until you actually come to the arena.
You need to come to God’s presence and consistently keep coming back and saying, Lord I’m ready.
Verse 6: Luke 1:10
Now, this is what is called Corporate Worship.
The whole nation would spend this time, praying for things like redemption.
You don’t have to be a one-man band in prayer.
You can pray.
But it’s even better for you when you can get faithful brothers and sisters in Christ, to pray alongside you (based on the things you’re asking God to answer for you).
Verse 7: Luke 1:11
Here is the guy who does not falter because he doesn’t have a child.
Zechariah continues to clock in and seek God for answers.
He’s deeply devoted to his relationship with God, regardless of the circumstances.
But just like any other human being, Zechariah was troubled seeing this Angel.
Verse 8: Luke 1:12
Zechariah, just like in other spiritual encounters we see in the Bible, was afraid.
**I break this down more in the livestream at 1:01:32**
Verse 9: Luke 1:13
At this point in time, Zechariah is being rewarded. Zechariah and Elizabeth are being rewarded because they were not running the 100m sprint.
They were not caught up, like many people who make the mistake of going in the flesh and desire instant oatmeal.
Or a microwave blessing. A microwave answer to prayer is basically trying to do it yourself.
You see, what we see here is Zechariah winning the marathon. He’s sharing this victory with Elizabeth.
Zechariah deserves a hand clap brothers and sisters. And we all will receive a hand clap, when we start using these weapons like persistent prayer, the way in which God wants us to do.
Zechariah Leaned In.
As a result, what did the angel Gabriel say? “Zechariah, your prayer has been heard.”
You see, he prayed for something Biblical just like the widow woman I mentioned earlier.
He prayed consistently, and his prayer was answered. This is the Power of Persistent Prayer.
Notice he was devoted, continued to serve, and was blessed.
His prayer was answered, and God blessed them with: a son, John the Baptist!
Zechariah and Elizabeth had faith.
They picked up their armoury, exercised faith, and prayed.
Eventually, their prayer was answered. Not in a day, not in a month, not in a year, maybe not even in a decade. They got the answer in their old age.
Angel Gabriel personally came to tell him of the blessing.
He was undertaking a once in a lifetime event of offering the incense. Zechariah was committed and devoted.
He was told he would get a son who was to be called John.
This is John the Baptist who we know.
He may not have known right away, this was going to be one of the greatest sons to ever live.
Their faithfulness led to God rewarding them.
What do you think God has in store for you if you do the same?
Avoid The Thieves with the Power of Persistent Prayer
Remember, I said this to you before using this prayer weapon is not a 100m sprint.
And the way in which we complete our mission is to win the marathon, not to win the 100m sprint.
I remind you, it’s the mistake so many people make when it comes to this powerful weapon.
And remember the larger message within this…
This is all preparing us for Jesus.
Follow what the people in the narrative, like Zechariah were doing.
Doing so will give you certainty about your faith.
With such faith, even the most sophisticated thief or bank robber, will not be able to get into your vault.
They cannot damage the faith you have in Christ.
If you continue to pray, the Lord will answer you in a mighty miraculous way. You will draw yourself closer to God.
And He will bless you greatly.
Final Words On The Power of Persistent Prayer
Let’s recap what we’ve covered in this post about the Power of Persistent Prayer.
- Christians need to carry the correct weapons.
- We need to utilise those weapons in the right way.
- Pray persistently to get your prayers answered.
- Lean in to receive the greatest gifts from God.
- Pray Biblically.
- Remember, your tough circumstances are your opportunity not your downfall.
- You should pray regularly (especially before making important decisions).
- Above all, always remember God’s timing is the best.
Prefer to Watch? Here is The Livestream On Luke 1:5-13
I hope this post inspired you to pray more, get closer to God, and arm yourself, with this very powerful tool Luke shares with us.
This teaching is part of my ongoing Luke series.
Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Ps. Thank you to my monthly partners who help make things like this a reality. And thank you to Mr Chau for spending time making this look nice for you.