Does praying repeatedly for something show a lack of faith?

Biblical faith is believing God’s Word and trusting Him to do all He has promised. Faith relies on God. A strong faith gives peace in difficult times and comfort in afflictions because it trusts God to do what is best for His children. Faith is most evident when circumstances are unpleasant or when we do not understand why things happen like they do. If a Christian is trusting God in a difficult situation does that mean he will not have to keep praying about it? Will the peace that comes from trusting Him forego the need of continuing to pester God about the problem?

Luke 18 records Jesus’ parable about a widow who had been wronged. She went to a judge to seek judgment against the one who wronged her. The judge was not interested in justice, but the widow persisted in bothering him demanding for justice until he finally issued judgment on her behalf. Jesus told this parable to teach, “that men ought always to pray and not to faint.” (Luke 18:1) If an unjust judge will do right because of someone’s persistent pleadings how much more will the Christian’s heavenly Father answer the prayers of His children?

Jesus Himself prayed and prayed earnestly. Did He lack faith? Jesus prayed earnestly because He trusted His Father. In the garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed intensely and repeatedly because He was relying on His Father to strengthen Him for the brutal task ahead. Jesus prayed when He already knew His prayer was answered. (John 11:41-42; 12:27-28) Jesus prayed at all times because He trusted His Father.

The consistent pattern in the Bible is that God delights in those who pray with fervency, intensity and tenacity. He is never annoyed by persistence in prayers. One danger to avoid is willfulness is prayers. God is not pleased with those who insist on praying for something they should not have. Those who make improper demands of God may find themselves like the Israelites in the wilderness. They were given quail to fill their bellies but it came at a great spiritual cost. “He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul.” (Psalm 106:15) The Christian who asks rightly for right things can ask with boldness and persistence, knowing God is pleased when we trust Him enough to never quit asking Him to supply our need.

Absence of prayer is an absence of faith. The one who relies on God for all things is one who will pray continually. Faith filled prayers trust God to work. Those who trust God are quick to lay their requests before God. The absence of prayer is not a sign of spiritual strength but of spiritual immaturity. A lack of prayer indicates the person either does not care enough to pray or is trusting something else to supply the need. E.M. Bounds said, “Our praying needs to be pressed and pursued with an energy that never tires, a persistency which will not be denied, and a courage which never fails.” Those who truly trust God “pray without ceasing.”