6 I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the LORD, do not keep silent,
7 And give Him no rest till He establishes And till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
Doug Platt mentioned this verse in his book, and the passage struck a chord in me. Though this passage is directed at Israel, the principle applies to the church and your individual life.
What struck me more is that the Lord is the one speaking in this passage. God set up the watchmen and God called His people to prayer. He then instructed His people to give Himself no rest until their prayers were answered. God wants you to persistently pursue what is right in prayer. Not only to pursue, but to give the Lord no rest until He fulfills the burden He has laid on your heart. If you feel the need, it may be that God has called you to be a watchman. When God stirs His people with a burden to pray, it’s because He intends to do something in their midst.
The call to prayer is a call of faithfulness. One thing is required of God, that we be found faithful (1 Corinthians 4:2). The Lord shows Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart are completely His. Those who are seeking Him with their whole heart are the ones who give Him no rest, but consistently go before His throne of grace until He answers. God knows what He intends to do, but He chooses to prove our hearts before doing His greatest work through us. The Bible warns that we must ask in faith, pursuing the Lord without doubt. Those who cast a prayer out and then give up are called double-minded. They are tossed back and forth by emotions and circumstances like the waves of the sea. God’s answer to them, “Let not that man suppose he will receive anything from the Lord.” (James 1:7)
The prayer of faith is to long so deeply for the will of God that we pursue His heart to find it. And receive it. The prayer is not a desire of self-gratification. My blessings are fulfilled in His promises. There’s no need to pursue these things. God blesses the faithful, not the selfish beggar. God reveals a need, something we must have or do in order to accomplish His will or to remove the barriers that distract us from that will, and we pursue it by faith – to pray without ceasing. To pray without ceasing does not mean we pray non-stop, but that we consistently set ourselves aside for prayer while persistently seeking His will.
Let’s go back to our passage in Isaiah 62. It begins with God declaring His will – to establish Jerusalem in righteousness, make her a light to the nations, and be a crown to the Lord. He promised not to forsake her, but to establish her on the foundation of the Lord. He then called His people to believe this promise, and pursue it. When God’s people had the heart to pray without ceasing and refuse to abandon the promise (even though the city was in ruins), then they were in a spiritual condition to be a part of God’s plan. Only then did He step in and fulfill His promise.
That is praying in faith. It is to capture a glimpse of God’s will through His word, and pursue it without accepting anything short of what the Lord has revealed. It is to seek without giving up. Consider the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:7-11
7 " Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
8 "For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
9 "Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?
10 "Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
We must first learn what God considers good. While God often blesses us in ways we find gratifying, that which is truly good is something that has eternal significance.
Also, little has been lost in translation from Greek to English. To knock isn’t just to knock and quit. It’s the act of knocking. It is to knock and keep on knocking. Seek and keep on seeking. It’s to ask and keep on asking. It is to give the Lord no rest until He fulfills the burden of our heart. A burden that He gave us.
This is also why faith must be something we build our lives upon. We don’t supplement our lives with God, but we lay down our lives so we can live in the Spirit and see His revelation to us. A self-centered life is blind to the secret counsel of God. (Proverbs 3:32). Prayer is founded upon a life built on faith, and faith comes from the Lord and His word. The prayer of faith will be answered, for if we ask anything according to His will, He hears and grants our petition.
There is no greater joy than to pursue the heart of God, pray without ceasing, and give Him no rest until the purpose He has revealed is fulfilled. It is God who commanded to pray and give Him no rest. He delights in the heart that seeks Him. Psalm 119:2-4
2 Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart!
3 They also do no iniquity; They walk in His ways.
4 You have commanded us To keep Your precepts diligently.
Seeking Hi with all our heart is how we keep our hearts from iniquity and how we learn to walk in His ways. This is where the blessings of God are discovered. Seek the Lord. Give Him no rest from your prayers!