Persistence in Prayer
(Pinckneyville, Illinois, circa 1971)
As a child, I felt persistence was the single most important thing about prayer. When I prayed I was not double minded; my request (I mean petition) was clear and unambiguous. In the summer of 1971, Reaban’s Restaurant (a sticky seated hamburger joint that reeked of grease and cigarette smoke) held a drawing for a free bicycle. She was a beauty! Somehow my nine year old brain became convinced God was going to give me that bicycle. After all, God made dad be a preacher and had afflicted me with both freckles and abnormally large teeth. God owed me that bike. I prayed every day for that bike and then one day we went into Reaban’s and…the bike was gone. Somebody had won it; probably some kid all the girls liked whose dad didn’t have to be a preacher. I learned that day that no matter how much you pray, if you want a bicycle you are probably going to have to work for it and that if God ever called me to be a preacher, I wasn’t going to be of the “name it, claim it” kind.
About the Author
Named a Distinguished Evangelist of the United Methodist Church, Shane L. Bishop is the Senior Pastor of Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois. He resides in Belleville, Illinois with his wife Melissa.