Praying for Perseverance

By Anna Meade Harris

Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success; continuance in a state of grace leading finally to a state of glory.

Nobody really wants to pray for perseverance. It’s like praying for patience- when we ask for it, we are afraid we are ASKING FOR IT. But since Jesus promises us we will have trouble in this world, we need to ask for the faithfulness to stand firm in our faith.

Imagine waiting in a doctor’s office. You are with someone you love dearly, who is seriously ill and in a good deal of pain. You have been to many doctors, and all the treatments and medications have done little to change to progress of the illness. Finally you hear of a doctor who might have a cure, and so you anticipate the appointment with desperate hope. Ushered into the examination room, the two of you wait. For hours. You endure your loved one’s white-lipped endurance. Do you soothe and comfort, give backrubs and read encouraging Scripture? Do you make jokes to distract, or do you recite all the doctor’s impressive credentials and successful track record? You feel hopeful, and helpless, and eager, and angry. You are hungry and tired, your back stiff and your legs cramping in the molded plastic chair- or maybe your feet hurt from pacing the floor. You step into the hall, repeatedly, to flag down a nurse. Maybe she knows when the doctor will come. You will certainly go crazy if you can’t DO SOMETHING. You need to go to the bathroom, but you are afraid to miss a moment of the doctor’s visit in the room, as if you could tell by some subtle clue from him whether death- or healing- is imminent. The waiting is unbearable, and behind it all looms the dread possibility: what if, when he comes, he cannot help?

Finally the doctor arrives. He tenderly and thoughtfully examines the one you love, asking all the right questions. Clearly the doctor is familiar with the disease, and intimately understands its effect on your lives. You begin to relax under his attentive compassion, your anxiety giving way to tentative trust. He details a treatment plan, telling of side effects and symptom management, but you can hardly breathe until he arrives at the end: “And that should take care of it.” There is a cure.

What would have made the torment of the doctor’s office easier to bear? If you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, before you ever made the appointment, that this doctor would be able to heal your loved one, then the wait becomes an entirely different matter.   Trust brings with it the strength to persevere. Anticipation replaces anxiety. Whatever ails us- sin, sickness, sadness- we never have to wonder if God can handle it. Every illness and injury, every betrayal and heartache, every bad decision and sinful choice, responds to His touch. If God can redeem the death of His innocent Son, He can redeem absolutely anything. And so we persevere, based on the trustworthy character and steadfast love of the One who never changes and never fails. The burden of the waiting, the difficulty of the enduring, becomes much easier when we know the end of the story- and we know the end of the story. The victory is won. It is finished. Contemplating the riches of His love turns our wondering into wonder, and so we receive the hope of glory, and the strength to persevere.

(Fill in the blank as you pray perseverance for yourself and others.)

May _____ also glory in tribulation, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because Your love has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Romans 5:3-5

I thank You, Father, that _____ is kept by Your power. Father, teach _____ to greatly rejoice, though now, for a little while, he has been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of his faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes… may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen, _____ loves. 1 Peter 1:3, 6

Lord, may _____ give all diligence to add to her faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are hers and abound, she will neither be barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of You, Jesus. 2 Peter 1:5-8

Father, I pray that in Your goodness, You will lead _____ to repentance; Your Word says that You will render to each according to his deeds and give eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality. Romans 2:4, 6-7

Father, I desire that _____ show diligence to the full assurance of hope to the end, that she does not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Hebrews 6:11-12

Lord, please present _____ holy and blameless, and above reproach in Your sight- I pray that he will continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and not be moved away from the hope of the gospel; rather, that this hope set before _____ will serve as an anchor to his soul, both sure and steadfast. Colossians 1:21-23, Hebrews 6:19

Heavenly Father, let _____ hold fast to the confession of her faith without wavering, for You, Who promised, are faithful. I pray that _____ will not cast away her confidence, which has great reward. For she has need of endurance, so that after she has done Your will, she will receive the promise… Lord, may she not be one of those who draws back to perdition, but may she believe to the saving of her soul. Hebrews 10:23, 35-6

Lord, I pray that _____ will be diligent to be found by You in peace, without spot and blameless, considering that Your longsuffering is our salvation. I pray he will beware lest he fall from his own steadfastness, and not be led away with the error of the wicked. 2 Peter 3:17-18

Father, I pray that _____ will hold fast to the faithful Word she has been taught, that she may by sound doctrine exhort and convince the gainsayers. Titus 1:9

Lord, I pray that _____ will hold fast to what he has until You come. And he who overcomes, and keeps Your works until the end, to him will You give power over the nations. I pray _____ will not fear any of the things which he might suffer, but rather be faithful until death, and You will give him the crown of life. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and You will be his God and he will be Your son. Rev 2:25-28, 10, 21:7

Father, may _____ keep Your command to persevere, because if she does, You will keep her from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the whole earth. Behold, You are coming quickly! I pray _____ will hold fast to what she has, that no one may take her crown. Rev 3:10

Father, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of Your throne, O God. I pray that we will consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest we become weary and discouraged in our souls. Therefore, Father, we ask that You strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for our feet…  Hebrews 12:1-3, 12

And let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we will reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9

There were so many ways the Bible talks about perseverance that I kept a running list of all the verses I found (and I am sure I barely scratched the surface of what the Bible has to say about this) but I wanted to share this list with you because it’s just so encouraging. Read them out loud, and pray them for those you love- and get excited! God has things in store for us that we cannot even imagine.


Be watchful

Continue in the things you have learned

Suffering and patience


Be diligent

Hold fast



Through many tribulations enter the kingdom

Patient continuance in doing good


Established; sealed

Continue in the faith; grounded and steadfast


Abounding in the work of the Lord


Hold fast to the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end

Diligence to the full assurance of hope til the end


Run with endurance the race set before us

Strengthen the hands, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet

Looking careful

Kept by the power of God

Yet believing

Beware lest you fall from your own steadfastness

Be faithful unto death

Keep My works

Continue ye in my love

With purpose of heart cleave unto the Lord

Stand fast in liberty

Patience have her perfect work


Hold fast the faithful Word

And the rewards of perseverance?




Knowing He is compassionate and merciful

Kept from the hour of trial

Glory, honor and immortality

Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee

Holy and blameless and above reproach in His sight


Partakers of Christ

Inherit the promises

Be healed

Great reward

Will neither be barren nor unfruitful

Crown of life

The morning star

Power over the nations

Inherit all things

Your labor is not in vain

I will be your God and you will be My son

Withstand the evil day

Be confident

Exhort and convince the gainsayers

Perfect and entire, wanting nothing

Delivered from every evil work

Established in every good word and work

The end of your faith, the salvation of your souls



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