When I was in a prayer meeting with about twenty others, one of the wonderful ladies of prayer said, "Prayer is hard work. We don't 'just pray.' When it gets hard to pray, we pray on through that. The old-timers called it 'praying through.'"
When Jacob wrestled with the angel, the angel said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak" (Genesis 32:26). If the angel wished to go, why didn't He? He clearly had the power to slip from Jacob's grasp. But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."
In prayer, we often come to a place where we could easily stop praying or we can say as Jacob did when wrestling with the angel, "I will not let You go."
This incident parallels Christ's response to the two disciples who walked with Him on the road to Emmaus: "Jesus acted as if he were going farther" (Luke 24:28). In both cases the principle is this: God will go if we do not desire Him to stay.
It's an infinite honor for the Spirit to put any burden of prayer on us even when it is for our own family. We should cling to this honor as Jacob clung to the angel.
The best help to our faith is a determination to pray a request based on Scripture until "we know that he hears us" (I John 5:15). Often that assurance that He has heard is accompanied by peace, a quiet knowing in our spirits. The Holy Spirit can give us as clear assurance as any person can.
Faith is evidence of the unseen, so it's possible to pray until it seems God says, "You don't need to pray anymore because I've heard!" By faith we can rest from our own efforts and "stand still and see the salvation of the Lord."
Thank You, Lord, that it is possible to know You've heard and will answer our prayer.
"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us--whatever we ask--we know that we have what we asked of him" (1 John 5:14-15).