1. Lesson One of the Book of Daniel, Introduction to the Book of Daniel

The Necessity of Prayer – Lesson XX, Prayer and Importunity 

I was born in 1938 at home on a street called Whipple near the center of Chicago.   

At about two years of age my family moved to 5937 Henderson Street near Belmont St. and Austin Blvd. on the edge of Chicago.   

We were a family on their way to the suburbs, but we were going there in little steps. 

Our house on Henderson was situated in the middle of a big prairie next to another lone house, owned by our only neighbor, the Skacks, the back of their house separated by an alley from the back of our house.   

As far as money was concerned we would have been considered just one step above poor.   

I grew up in a time when you would drive into a gas station and just sit in the car and direct the gas station attendant in the things you desired him to do.   

There was no such thing as self-service gasoline and the dispensing of it was left to a professional. 

You would stay put in the car and simply roll down the window and he would come up and ask, What will it be.   

If you were well to do at the time, you would give him a loud, Fill her up.   

Otherwise you might say quietly, Put in a dollars worth. 

He would reply with the question, Check the oil and the tires Sir?   

If you had time for such a thing you would of course say yes because oil and tires were things that in those days had to be checked often.   

He would automatically clean the windows, all around without asking because that was part of the service of all the gas stations of that era.   

As a little boy I remember walking to the Texaco station across the prairie with my father, to get some kerosene for our kitchen cooking stove. 

It was the kind of cooking stove that had two cylindrical tanks in the back that were turned upside down and a little valve would allow kerosene to flow to the burner area.   

Needless to say our kitchen always smelled a bit like kerosene. 

But I can still remember the gas station as if it were today. 

Everything was red and spiffy with the smells of a real gas station where all kinds of fuels were sold,  real mechanicing was done, where the attendants wore uniforms and the car drivers stayed in their cars talking and acting the big shot while others attended to the plebian things of their automobile.   

We did not have a family car until we got our first one in about 1951, a four door, 1949 Nash, two tone, brown and light brown, made in Kenosha, Wisconsin.  

My father could drive but he preferred that my mother drive instead so he would sit in the passenger side and leave the driving to my mother. 

But you know that car would not run without visiting that gas station on a regular basis.   

No matter how we wished it were not so, the car demanded that its gas tank be full, its oil reservoir be topped, it tires be properly filled and so on.   

A regular visit was required in order to keep that car useful.   

It had to be gassed up without ceasing.   

If that car could talk it would demand regular visits to the gas station. 

And it remains that way today.   

Your car has an importunity about it when it comes to fuel to make it go. 

And how much prayer is like that car.   

A Christian who does not pray is like a car that is not gassed up on a regular basis. 

Nothing distinguishes the children of God so clearly and strongly as prayer.


Prayer is one of the marks and test of being a Christian.


Christian people are prayerful, the worldly-minded are prayerless.


Christians call on God; worldlings ignore God, and do not call on His Name.


But even Christians have need to cultivate continual prayer.


Prayer must be habitual, but much more than a habit.


Yes prayer is duty but prayer is more than duty for prayer is the expression of a relationship with God.


Prayer is a yearning for communication with God the father.


It is the connecting of the created to the creator. 


It is the claim of the son or the daughter. 


It is the right of the heir. 


It is as natural as the request of the child to the father.


As a sculptor daily works his work, prayer daily assists in the molding of the soul to the image of God. 


Prayer is that which contributes to the flow of God’s grace.


It has everything to do with bringing the soul into complete communion with God.


It has everything to do with enriching, broadening and maturing the soul’s experience of God.


How can a man or a woman be called a Christian who does not pray?


If a man or woman does not pray, he or she is a sinner, lost and undone.


Prayer is the only way in which the soul of man can enter into fellowship and communion with God.


Therefore if he does not pray, he is not of the household of faith.  

This paragraph is from an anonomous writer about prayer and is appropriate to our lesson concerning prayer and importunity.

“How glibly we talk of praying without ceasing! Yet we are quite apt to quit, if our prayer remained unanswered but one week or month! We assume that by a stroke of His arm or an action of His will, God will give us what we ask. It never seems to dawn on us, that He is the Master of nature, as of grace, and that, sometimes He chooses one way, and sometimes another in which to do His work. It takes years, sometimes, to answer a prayer and when it is answered, and we look backward we can see that it did.  But God knows all the time, and it is His will that we pray, and pray, and still pray, and so come to know, indeed and of a truth, what it is to pray without ceasing.”


The Lord Jesus Christ in Luke 18:1-8 told us to pray without fainting. 


That means pray without ceasing. 


Luke 18:1-8,   And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (to fail in heart); Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? 

This parable stresses the central truth of importunate prayer.  

The widow presses her case until the unjust judge yields.  

Christ intended this parable to teach his children of the  need for insistent prayer. 

This parable is taught by our Lord Jesus Christ with the intention of saving men from faint-heartedness and weakness in prayer.  

He intends that his children guard against being lax and that his children cultivate persistence. 

So we see that God desires his children to exercise importunate prayer. 


Importunate prayer is prayer built on faith. 


It is a powerful movement of the soul toward God.


It is the full aim of the soul toward the throne of heavenly grace. 


It is maximum power that the soul can expend toward the hand of God.


It is the soul expressing a passion, not simply for a need but a dire necessity.


Importunate prayer has a wrestling quality to it. 


It is prayer that is aroused by the Holy Spirit. 


It is the intercession of the Spirit of God in us bringing us to be tenacious and urgent in our praying.


Importunity is the pressing of our desires upon God with urgency and perserverance, never relaxing nor ceasing until our plea is heard by God and the cause for which we pray is won.


The man or woman who has a clear view of God as provided by the Word of God, and therefore knows His Divine character will be be outspoken and importunate. 


God is always looking for such a man or woman for this is the kind of praying which influences God.  


God wants to be wakened by the importunate pleadings of a righteous man or woman.


The praying which influences God is that of the fervent, effectual outpouring of a righteous man.


It is prayer on fire. 


Not a weak lukewarm fire of a prayer but a shining vigorous steady flame that warms the heart of God.